New York's WPIX Beats Former News Director in Age Discrimination Trial
Karen Scott sued for $4.5 million after being fired at the age of 60.
WPIX in New York has prevailed over its former news director Karen Scott in an age discrimination case. On Wednesday, in its second day of deliberations, a jury ruled against Scott and her $4.5 million claims that she was improperly fired in August 2009 after turning 60.
The station (a Tribune Company-owned affiliate of the CW Network) argued that it was ratings and not Scott's age that prompted her firing after 16 years of service.
“While winning awards is nice, it brings in no revenue for the station,” argued Ed Cirasia, attorney for Channel 11, in court, according to The New York Post.
Scott's case relied upon purported comments made by a station manager who presided over a big staff shake-up that caused firings and reduced roles. The station manager was said to have questioned the age and looks of some of the station's reporters, wondering why one 72-year-old veteran hadn't retired already.
At the trial, Scott brought anchor Kaity Tong to the witness stand to testify about how her salary was slashed in her 60s.
But the plaintiff ultimately didn't prove her burden of showing discrimination.
Kenneth Rubinstein, attorney for Scott, told the Post he hadn't decided yet on an appeal.
Age discrimination in broadcast news comes up from time to time in courts. On Wednesday, former Telemundo reporter Vicky Gutierrez sued the Spanish broadcaster and parent NBCU for booting her off the air at age 50.
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