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NBC5 drops Vice President of News Mark Ginther (updated)


@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Mark Ginther, who joined Fort Worth-based NBC5 on September 14, 2015 as vice president of news, has been fired after an in-house investigation by the Human Resources department.

Word came Monday afternoon from numerous sources. Ginther had been hired from Seattle’s NBC affiliate, KING-TV, where he was news director from 2008 to 2015. Prior to that he had been assistant news director at Dallas-based WFAA-TV from 2006-’08.

NBC5 has not issued any official statement on Ginther’s termination. Brian Hocker, who reportedly is handling all inquiries, said via automated email that he’s “out of the office traveling on business” until Thursday of this week. Ginther could not be reached for comment Monday.

Later Monday, Hocker issued this statement: “Mark Ginther is no longer employed by NBC5/KXAS. We are grateful for his commitment and dedication to the NBC5 team. His last day with the station was Monday, August 6.”

A number of sources close to the situation say that Ginther’s firing had nothing to do with any allegations of sexual misconduct. Instead the station determined that his management style was no longer a good fit, according to sources.

NBC5 won its first ever national Peabody award during Ginther’s nearly three-year tenure. Veteran investigative reporter Scott Friedman and his off-camera team accepted the prestigious award in May for the series “Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken For a Ride.”

NBC5 also underwent numerous personnel changes during Ginther’s time at the station. And NBC5’s early morning ratings, particularly in the key 6 a.m. hour, have fallen into serious decline in the past year in the key news demographic of 25-to-54-year-olds.

It’s expected that assistant news director John Stone will step in as the interim newsroom boss while NBC5 searches for Ginther’s replacement.

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