WISH-TV fires news director, industry sources say

August 27, 2012

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.


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