WISH-TV fires news director, industry sources say

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WISH-TV Channel 8 is without a news director after firing Patti McGettigan on Friday, according to industry sources.

NewsBlues, a website that follows personnel moves in the industry, is reporting that McGettigan was escorted from the Indianapolis CBS affiliate’s building after a 17-year run with parent company LIN TV Corp., which is based in Rhode Island.

WISH made no official announcement explaining McGettigan's abrupt departure. Calls to station General Manager Jeff White and spokesman Scott Hainey were not returned.

McGettigan arrived at WISH in July 2009 from LIN sister station WOOD-TV Channel 8, an NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich., where she had served as news director since 2001.

McGettigan is the latest in a string of WISH employees who either left or were fired from the station in the past year.

In December, high-profile investigative reporter Brad Edwards was relieved of his duties in what he said was a cost-cutting move. The next month, WISH chose not to renew the contract of morning anchor Joy Dumandan.

In August, sports reporter Ashley Adamson left for the Pac-12 TV Network. And prominent meteorologist Angela Buchman departed and will be off the local airwaves for a year due to a non-compete contract before joining WTHR-TV Channel 13.

The newscasts of WISH and its three local competitors increasingly are losing the coveted 25-54 audience, an age group that is abandoning local TV news in alarming numbers.

During the May ratings-measurement period, or sweeps, WISH finished second in that audience segment to WTHR at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and third in "late" news, which counts 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., behind WXIN-TV Fox 59 and WTHR.

Nielsen Co. has sweeps periods in February, May, July and November, and ratings during those periods set television advertising rates. Advertising during local TV newscasts make up 40 percent to 60 percent of a station’s revenue.


  • Karen Hensel
    Is Karen Hensel gone off WTHR and if so where is she now? Thank You,
  • Karen Hensel
    Is Karen Hensel gone and if so where is she now? Thank You
  • Karen Hensel
    Is Karen Hensel gone and if so where is she now? Thank You
  • Karen Hensel
    Is Karen Hensel gone and if so where is she now? Thank You,
  • Karen Hensel
    Is Karen Hensel gone and if so where is she now? Thank You
  • Unemployment benefits
    I left a position in March 2012 and had medical documentation in my file for the whole eight months I was workiing I filed for unemployment in April 2012 received a letter in June 2012 that I was approved. Due to bills piling up naturally I started paying creditors.Around July 1, 2012 I received a letter that benfits were suspended and the employer was appealing. I am now responsible for paying back unemployment benefits that were approved. Why would the Unemployment approved benefits and not have waited to see if they were approved by my employer. I do not have the money to pay back. I am unemployed. I am looking for a job to pay back for something that was given to me. This is unfair. Why should I be responsible for someone's error or the lack of proper procedure. Something should be done to review individuals files and not punished the recipient. I have spoken with a few people and the same thing has happened to them. The State is sponging off innocent people.
  • News isn't appropriate for kids anymore
    I can tell you why they are losing the young adult viewers. Most have children and the news in Indianapolis isn't appropriate for the children. I would watch and do watch when kids are not around, however the usual storyline's are shootings on the Eastside, corrupt local government's stealing money, or Company XYZ letting go 200 workers. I know there are good uplifting pieces as well, but I can't sift thru the junk everytime to see it. Maybe keep all of the murder and violence to the later evening segment. Just a thought.
  • Noticeable demise.
    Ch 8 has been my choice up until the last couple of years. It's too bad. It's not just the mass exodus of top on air personnel but the editorial content/slant/selection of material. They used to be centrist right. That's no longer the case.
  • NewsBlues
    Does the IBJ really use NewsBlues as a source of information? NewsBlues is a HUGE gossip website for tv news insiders. CK: If you look at the ratings, yes the lead in does play a small part, but people turn the channel to watch the news station they want to see. For instance look at the noon newscasts. WISH has the Price is Right which does well, but it is often neck and neck with the View on WRTV. However, at noon WISH has 30% more viewers than they did at 11:45. WRTV loses 8% of viewers from 11:45 to noon. and WTHR gains 38%. WISH is the #1 news at noon by a loooooong shot.
  • news reporters
    I tune into wish morning news because after years of watching wthr I was bored and changed to wish, what an uplifting, fun bunch, Shaun, Randy, sometimes Dave, their youthful approach is refreshing! The noon news with Deanna and Dave is super too, but the evenings after Dave and Deanna are stuffy and boring!
  • Internet VS TV News
    I think they are trying to fix the unfixable. It is a result of true change, not a popularity issue. Most of the people in that 25-54 age that I know get their news from the Internet. It takes up less time and one can read several versions of the story to get a version closer to the truth. Online commercials are easier to ignore. I would not go back to wasting my time watching the news unless I was paid to do so.
    Thats why they call it WISH. Because they wish they could be like the top news stations but what they have now is pathetic. Did they have a nasal reporter contest?
  • It's Just Run It's Course
    This is not meant to be mean spirited or negative in any way, because I have been a faithful WISHTV viewer for 24 yrs+. With that being said, it's past time they retire the older female evening news anchor, way past time,it doesn't even appear appropriate when they report together. Eric is top notch! I believe Karen Hensel would best fit into that slot, if it would fit into her lifestyle. She is professional, yet personable and speaks TO the sudience not at them. The release of Joy Dumandan was a huge disappointment and her replacement has caused me to switch my channels during the daytime for my news. I am not one who likes a lot of superficial smiles and la-de-da junk, although I really like Rick,Dave and Randy and Julie is excellent! As far as the weather girl leaving goes, as I said before, I am not one who feels like I can relate to someone they are watching or feel a connection with those whom appear to be auditioning instead of reporting at times. It's taking me some time to get used to the new people and new channels, and I'm disappointed I had to change. I hope WISHTV can work things out better in the future, and all those wonderful people I spoke of still there can continue on doing such wonderful reporting! Thank you WISHTV for a great 24+ years.
    • Discusted listner
      If Debbie Knox leaves then I'm gone.
    • I don't with WISH anymore
      I stopped watching WISHTV in the past year. They've lost everyone that I like, Angela Buchman, Phil Sanchez, Joy Dumandon just to name a few. Anytime they have somebody good, they let them go? I don't know if that's her fault or not but no wonder their ratings have dropped. ,
      • TV
        WISH was a strong local news station for years, but that seems to have changed. WRTV6 may be the under-dog, but their newscasts and people seem more appealing than the overblown WTHR approach, the WISH revolving door or the overly youthful WXIN.
      • Not surprising
        I am fairly new to the area and the only time I watch the local news is in the mornings. I tried to give each station a shot but WISH is probably at the bottom of the barrel along with Fox 59. WISH's morning group does not seem to take anything serious and they all seem to be out in no man's land. Hopefully a new director can try to do something about this matter.
      • Esta??
        Esta come on now. All four major networks lead with news and investigative stories other than the Colts and the weather. You have to give them some credit.
      • All Local News Coverage is Poor
        When you are covering the 12th largest city in the US and 80% of the time the lead story is Colts or weather related, you have some lazy reporters.
      • How do people Choose?
        So what determines what local news channel people watch? I bet it has more to do with the preceding program. So if the 4:00 or 10:00 program is a draw, people probably don't change the channel. Sometimes I find the preceding program was a sporting event the night before. Can you hold the news director accountable for that? With DVR's and hundreds of cable channels there is so much competition. Then again, maybe she made a mistake and was let go for that.
      • How to people choose??
        So what determines what local news channel people watch? I bet it has more to do with the preceding program. So if the 4:00 program is a draw, people probably don't change the channel. Sometimes I find the preceding program was a sporting event the night before. Can you hold the new director accountable for that? With DVR's and hundreds of cable channels, there is so much competition. Then again, maybe she made a mistake and was let go for that.
      • Buchman
        After they lost Angela B to WTHR this was bound to happen... more Pet Pals TV please...
      • Jim Shella Next?
        Jim Shella has gotten way to comfortable over the years. His reporting has become a rare combination of being both smug and condescending. He no longer seeks any real insight into issues and just spreads political talking points from party leaders. They should replace him with Abduil Hakim-Shabazz,at least he asks questions and is entertaining.

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