According to the station, she along with a white male reporter, was let go for violating the company social media policy. Lee noted a viewer’s remark about this year’s award winners, stating they were “people of color.”
And then there was a question about her short Afro.
That’s when the pink slip came.
KTBS’ news director says a memo went out to staff members on Aug. 30 about responding to fans’ Facebook posts.
But Lee says she never got it. The company subsequently released a statement regarding the controversy.
“On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country.
“Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow.
“Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.”
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