Julie Moravchik

I’m surprised there isn’t a conversation going on here about the firing of Fox 21 News Director Julie Moravchik. Is this just inside baseball media stuff? It seems there are a lot of people who have strong opinions about this. How much does TV journalism or journalists matter?

41 Comments

Bully

about 10 years ago

In duluth?  meh

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

What Julie Moravchik accomplished at Fox 21 -- and prior to that at True North TV in Ashland -- has been amazing. She twice started from scratch and built news programs that immediately rivaled others in the market which have been around for decades.

And twice she's been fired in short order.

I have to wonder how Fox 21 intends to go about "taking the company in a different direction," which is what Julie said is all she was told. What is a different direction from success?

I'm guessing this will be a hot topic on KUWS' "Final Edition" tomorrow. Will Julie be on the show?

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Here's a link to a profile of Julie Moravchik from The Woman Today magazine, in case anyone would like some background on her accomplishments.

http://www.thewomantoday.com/?201102007007

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

Thanks Paul for mentioning Final Edition tomorrow at 5 o'clock.  And yes, our website still looks like middle school stuff, but it works. Most of the time. Cool lavender or green or strange color anyway. 

Yes, Julie will be on. She says it'll be the last time she talks publicly about this. It won't be very easy for her.  Duke Skorich and UWS instructor and former TV news director Joel Anderson will also be on.

Danny G

about 10 years ago

"Final Edition" sounds too much like "Final Solution."

Stevorini

about 10 years ago

Daniel,

Let me explain: "Final Edition" is a term used in news media - traditionally in the newspaper business - to denote the last "edition" or "printing" of a day. 

Your "humor" is dumb and offensive.

Calk

about 10 years ago

This should be a really interesting show. Mike, was it you or was it Duke who had people from that Wisc. TV station on the air when Julie got fired from there and the entire newsroom quit in protest? My friend, Dan Fitzpatrick, was one of them. I was so damn proud of him. Took guts.

Bad Cat!

about 10 years ago

Personally, I'm not sure why one person's firing is such public business.

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

Dan Fitzpatrick and that crew showed a lot of guts. They all got together on Final Edition the week of that bloodbath. They could be accused of being young, idealistic, not pragmatic. They were pressured to do stories about businesses advertising with True North TV, and didn't do it. Sometimes when sales people become managers, news and the information the public needs, is jeopardized.

Karasu

about 10 years ago

I agree with Bad Cat!. Lots of good people lose their job every day. *I* once lost MY job (imagine!). It doesn't make the evening news. Nor should it.

lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Frankly, I don't watch any news.  I basically gave up on it after the first gulf war.

Stenography is not my bag.

So, surfing past one talking head is a lot like surfing past another.

jeff

about 10 years ago

I want to know what in Danny's comment was so offensive. To me it just seems like Stevorini  is being ultra-sensitive, or is this just "inside baseball" stuff?

Speechie

about 10 years ago

Jeff, somehow you must've missed the history lessons in which you were to learn that the Final Solution is the official plan Hitler and the Nazis had for complete extermination of European Jews and others considered undesirable....

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

I like this website, which is, by the way, extremely "inside baseball" on Midwest Media Matters, so far inside I have to guess at half of the personality references and inferences, still it's fascinating. Here's their Moravchik post:  

http://www.redandnater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=77108

adam

about 10 years ago

Final Exit is OK, though.

I have no confabulator box nor cable, so I rarely see local broadcast TV (journalism) enough to comment. I don't know if the Fred Tyson Show will never come to fruition.

dlhmn

about 10 years ago

In response to a couple of comments - the issue is not the firing of one person, but instead the effect that firing is going to have on local journalism.

Julie Moravchik was the founder and director of the Fox 21 news operation - so, naturally, her firing brings questions of the future of that news operation.

Fox is the first new news operation in Duluth in decades - it has provided coverage of different stories than other outlets, kept WDIO on its toes, and has given viewers an important alternative to the ever-sinking KBJR / KDLH (it's already equaling - or beating - KBJR and KDLH in the ratings).

So what's going to happen now? What "new direction" does Fox management want? THAT is the big question at hand.

EvilResident

about 10 years ago

Ehm, wouldn't Danny's comment be sort of appropriate in this case? I dunno, maybe you have to have a sense of humor or irony or whatever. It wasn't that funny, but it's also not something to get your panties in a bunch about.

GoodResident

about 10 years ago

Danny is a troll who squats on all the local blogs, making inflammatory comments to provoke people, so he can then make fun of them and insult them. He thinks this kind of behavior makes him some kind of player on the Duluth scene. Best to ignore him, he won't go away.

TimK

about 10 years ago

Speaking of local "journalism," the Trib just announced that they've laid off Karwath! 

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/156948/

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but damn.  And they kept Browall of all people.   Looks like we've got lots to talk about on Final Edition today.  Damn.

Calk

about 10 years ago

Wow, I am always getting news alerts from the DNT every time a public figure farts, how come no news alerts re this very big news?

Calk

about 10 years ago

Mike, doesn't Final Edition run at other times besides Friday when you tape it? I am eager to listen. but won't be near a radio Friday at 5 pm. . .

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

Agreed with Calk on that part, Mike, rebroadcast it.  Better, why not a podcast or downloads of the show, or better still, gasp, an online audio archive.  It's not just radio anymore, it's multi-media

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

There is an online archive of "Final Edition." It isn't always up to date, but if you go to http://kuws.fm, click on "Final Edition" and scroll down you'll find back episodes.

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

We used to re-broadcast it but haven't for awhile.  Not my decision.  But, I will try to get it to air again Monday night after KUWS Presents, which is a recap of 2009.  It should end around 8:10 p.m.  We just finished taping the program.  Duke did a nice job, it was difficult for Julie but she did talk more indepth about the situation.

Julie Moravchik

about 10 years ago

Hello everyone.  This is Julie Moravchik.  This has been an incredibly difficult time for me, I miss the home I built and I miss my crew.  I don't know if I'll ever understand what happened here.  I am also heartbroken to hear about Rob Karwath.  Overall it has been a very bad week for the Northland, because when you lose seasoned veterans in the news business, it's not good for our area.  Thanks for all your support.  This is a tough business when you stand up for ethics in journalism.  But there is only one way to do a newscast, the right way or not at all.

Pat Castellano

about 10 years ago

Julie, I think whoever fired you read the same book Michael Garcia was reading when he fired me from the Duluth Children's Museum last year: "The Museum is moving in a new direction and your service is no longer needed here." Ha!  Word for word.  Firing Someone For Dummies, Volume 1. Haha! And you do have the right to ask for honest reasons for termination.  Send a letter requesting it. I did, and then filed an age discrimination complaint and proved every one of those "honest" reasons to be fabricated--even the Human Rights Commissioner read through the bogus reasons for termination. You were too good at what you do and someone didn't like that.  You have 15 days or so to submit a letter requesting.  Go for it.  Sad day for journalism.  The Museum also "retired" curator Bonnie Cusick in a very disrespectful manner.  Forty years of service to that organization and they dumped her!  The community knows when someone's been wronged and will stand by you in many ways.  It's too small a community and reputation speaks volumes. People don't like when others are treated unfairly. But ... what goes around comes around. Just wait!

Photojournalist

about 10 years ago

To me, from experience, this town seems to fear honest success. Julie and Rob as examples, when moving in the right direction, companies start thinking a change needs to happen, either to get a jump on what's already happening or to take the credit for where the company will eventually end up due to the hard work of everyone at the bottom. If it ain't broke don't fix it!

"The most valuable assets of our company cannot be found on our balance sheets, for our most important assets are our people. No matter how much profit a company makes, if it doesn't enrich the lives of its people, that company has failed."

- Mary Kay Ash

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

For the benefit of those of you who were unable to listen to "Final Edition" last night, here is the gist:

It seems Julie was being pressured to take the newscast in a less ethical direction. In other words: do more stories about advertisers.

Julie was hesitant to directly connect that as the reason for her termination (because she was never given a specific reason) but it was the only logical conclusion she could think of. I suppose when a station fires someone for being too ethical, it makes sense that they wouldn't come right out and say it.

Whether it was indeed the reason Julie was fired or not, it certainly sounds like the pressure was on her to sell out and she resisted, which is something we should all salute her for.

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adam

about 10 years ago

Being fired for refusing to lie to the public (mislead with stories about advertisers) is technically not illegal.

This documentary touches upon it, plus corporate "personhood." The Corporation.

mike simonson

about 10 years ago

"Final Edition" is now on our website at www.kuws.fm  Thanks PDD for the interesting conversation.  Interesting perspectives.

Soren

about 10 years ago

I liked that news program.  They did alot of stories about people that were building and contributing to our community and it had alot of less feel of "just the news" and more of a "This is Duluth and its people" feel if that makes sense.

dlhmn

about 10 years ago

Re: past tense used in previous comment

The newscast is still on every night. You can still like it, and it still has the same "feel" to it.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

It might seem the same right now, but keep in mind that it's being taken in a "different direction."

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

Rob Karwath and Robin Washington declined my requests to appear on Final Edition this week.  Karwath says he'll do it sometime down the road.  I am glad to say Nick LaFave from Fox 21 and Greg Grell from WDSE will be on today.  Not, of course, that they're second fiddles...

Cory Johnson

about 10 years ago

Kinda off the subject...

Does anyone know how to get ahold of Julie? She covered one story of mine in the past also went to UWS with her. Now I need a news person/publicist to help me with a big charity project. 

If anyone has contact with her, please tell her to contact Cory Johnson at [email protected]

Thanks a ton all.

Mike Simonson

about 10 years ago

Hi Cory.   I'll pass this along to her.   

She's getting hitched on Sept. 25, so she's a little busy and a lot crazy for the next four weeks.

Cory Johnson

about 10 years ago

Thanks Mike.

Please pass my congratulations on to her.

dlhmn

about 9 years ago

Today, Jan. 4, 2011, is the one-year anniversary of the shake-up at Fox 21. Perhaps a time to reflect on whether "the different direction" has been for better or worse?

Mike Simonson

about 9 years ago

Different direction includes no Julie Moravchik, who is now married, raising a beautiful son and writing a column for Women Today, no Beth Jett, who left for Huntsville and is also raising a beautiful child, a daughter, executive producer Jon Ellis has left for WDIO to be the assistant News Director.  They still have quality photogs but Nick LaFave is no longer reporting but producing.  They have a 6 o'clock newscast now but with no significant staff additions.  I'm glad they're still alive and kicking.

conrad

about 8 years ago

Fox 21 news is now officially terrible.  Poorly researched topics which actually do more harm than good and you can clearly see biases and a change in quality.


I miss Julie Moravchik.

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