It Is Very Important Sadiqa Reynolds Update Time

Whaaat? Sadiqa Reynolds does nothing but cause discontent and unrest within all walks of Metro Government?

You’re wrong.

She also spends a serious amount of time hiring her sorority sisters.

Sure, she’s got a history doing just that. And she’s doing it again and again.

The latest? We hear Katina Whitlock was appointed Assistant Director of Community Services and Revitalization. She was a 2012-13 member of the sorority.

Possibility City!

We’re Hiring New Advertising Sales Folks

You know that feeling you get when one of your sales people decides to move 700 miles away because her husband got a job? I (Jake) have that feeling right now. As you probably are already aware, I don’t really have time to do ad sales myself.

So I’m hiring additional advertising salespeople.

You have experience? Know someone who does? Ready to make a high commission (15-25%, depending on the situation)?

Then it’s time to get in touch with me.

Would prefer someone in Louisville or Lexington. Ideally looking for two people – one in each region. Seriously, email me if this interests you.

Serious inquiries only.

What is Berman Thinking?

What, exactly, is Sheldon Berman thinking?

Now that PRP coach Jason Stinson has been found not guilty of reckless homicide, he thinks it’s OK to put the embattled former coach in front of a classroom and wouldn’t object a bit if some oblivious JCPS principal hires him to coach a football team.

Berman says he plans to meet with Stinson next week. Stinson, who was placed in a non-instructional position after he was charged, makes about $45K per year.

That not guilty verdict didn’t proclaim that Stinson didn’t lose his temper and take it out on a bunch of high school kids. It didn’t say that he was not guilty of running players until somebody quit. And it didn’t make the civil case pending against him go away.

Even Berman’s JCPS investigation found that Stinson’s actions were so atrocious that a whole new set of coaching standards were set up and new training is now required on motivational techniques in high school sports.

The verdict meant that Stinson’s action weren’t deserving of jail time. But that doesn’t mean that he should be unleashed on another public school’s students.

At Least It’s Friday Edition

The Big Game: No one’s come through with tickets, yet, so I guess I’ll watch the big game on TV. It would be much more fun to live blog from the stands in defiance of the new Southeastern Conference rule. Anyway the game’s on ESPNU, but you can catch it on Insight’s channel 11. Noon tomorrow.

Redneck Fringe: Last week Billy Reed wrote a piece that pointed an accusing finger at the redneck element of the University of Kentucky fan base. It prompted nearly 100 responses, some from rednecks. OK, mostly from rednecks. [BillyReedSays]

Time Bomb Ticking: Erratic, irrational behavior was nothing new to Steve Nunn. He was abusive to his aging father, sister and ex-wife, according to a letter written by Louie Nunn. [Courier]

Covering Tyler: Now that we know how sensitive they are over at the C-J, it will be interesting to see what kind of coverage the Tyler Allen campaign gets in the less-important-than-ever newspaper in the future.  Can the “Big Ideas” candidate get any press in the paper whose editorial writers hate him? [Page One, (check the comments) Fat Lip]

Want to Get Paid? The local SPJ is holding a program at Baptist East next Saturday. The idea is to find ways to market yourself as a writer/journalist, since there aren’t any jobs left in mainstream media.  [SPJ]

 IF Is Here: The acclaimed Idea Festival is back in town next week. You should check the schedule and see who you want to check out. For me, it’s the hilarious writer A.J. Jacobs next Thursday afternoon. [IF]

Officially, The Flu is Widespread: According to the state’s Dept. of Public Health, the flu has gone from regional to widespread in the state, mostly due to H1N1. It’s so bad they cancelled a high school football game in northern Kentucky. [USAToday]

WHAS11 News Director Goes to Honolulu

Rick thinks he’s all fancy, getting to go to Indianapolis or whatever. So, in his absence, I’m gonna share this little story about WHAS11’s News Director, Genie Garner, moving to Honolulu.

KITV announced that Genie Garner will join the station as its new News Director effective October.

Garner had previously worked in Hawaii from 1989-1991 as a producer for KGMB News. Since that time, Garner has held news management positions in a number of markets, including assistant News Director at KMOV-TV (CBS) in St. Louis and most recently as News Director at WHAS-TV (ABC) in Louisville, Ky.

“Coming back to Hawaii years later and renewing my connection with the local viewer is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. There is so much growth and change for the state and the local television industry. I am looking forward to establishing a long and successful working relationship with KITV President and General Manager, Mike Rosenberg and the entire team at Island Television,” said Garner.

Rick will have more on this later.

Fox41 Beefs Up its News Staff

Here’s some news — Fox41 is expanding its on-air staff and devoting more resources to business news.

In changes you’ll see on the station after Labor Day, the local Fox affiliate is assigning Bill Francis to a strictly-business beat, moving morning reporter Jennifer Baileys to afternoon general reporting. And the new face you’ll see in the mornings in Lindsay Allen, who escaping the Lima, Ohio market and a Fox41 sister station to do mornings here.

“When stations are laying people off we’re actually hiring people,” said WDRB news director Barry Fulmer. “It’s going to make our news department stronger.”

Allen is an IU grad who started her broadcast career in North Carolina, and is originally from Maryland.

You can check out Allen on the WLIO website — looks like a good move for the station.

Wills’ Proper Sendoff and the New Gal in Town

This seems to be a year of departures on local TV, but none can match the sendoff WAVE-TV has given Tom Wills after four decades as the city’s senior meteorologist.

WAVE has given Wills an entire week of tributes, bringing back former personalities (this morning it was ex-anchor Julie Nelson, now in Minneapolis) to record memories. Names like Pia Cummings and Nell Taylor, who we haven’t seen on TV in a long time, recorded Wills tributes. WAVE’s taken us back to the major weather events Wills has covered, starting with the 1974 tornado and then the snowstorms in 1978 and 1994.

It’s certainly classier treatment than WHAS-TV gave its weather icon, Ken Schulz, when he retired early this year.  Of course, Wills wasn’t pushed out the door, either.

But regular viewers of the station may have had enough nostalgia, and today they get their final chance to say good-bye on WAVE3 Listens at 10.

And those who watched this morning’s show got a look at things to come — Wills introduced his replacement on the Sunrise show. There’s plenty to like about Christie Dutton, who grew up in Nicholasville, is a UK graduate and has worked in the Lexington and Cincinnati markets. She’s not hard to look at, and she’s got a meteorology certification at Mississippi State. So she must know her weather, and she knows what to expect in the Ohio Valley.

Dutton spent six years at WTVQ in Lexington before moving up to the Fox affiliate in Cincy, WXIX, in 2007.  However, Dutton’s tenure in Cincy was just over a year, as she was let go a year ago. On the air this morning, she said she’d be starting on the Sunrise show late next week.

White’s Pay Another Problem for Jerry

Another day, another public relations disaster for Jerry Abramson.

An internal city audit has turned up an expense no one except the Mayor seems to have known about — some extra pay for Police Chief Robert White. It was reported at 11 last night by WAVE’s Lindsay English.

Metro Councilman Kelly Downard, always good for a critical comment, said the problem with the pension payments of about $90,000 for two years paid to White and agreed to by Abramson was the secrecy of it all. The deal was that when he signed on in 2002, White agreed that he wouldn’t get the money until he stayed in Louisville for five years. That way, he wouldn’t lose the pension he’d built up at his previous job in North Carolina. But the deal wasn’t known by anyone else.

“No one knows this was going on until, thank goodness, the internal auditor brought it up and you did some investigative work and found out who it was. If we didn’t know that, no one would have ever known. We would have never known,” he told WAVE.

Abramson spokesperson Kerri Richardson, on the defensive, said something that’s likely to come up a lot in future campaigns.

“The Mayor does have the discretion, especially for employees such as the police chief, that serve at his discretion to make policies that are the best fit for the city, the taxpayers and for that individual,” she said.

Conclusion: The Mayor can make excessive payments to favored individuals when he feels like it, with no approval required from anyone else.

Outrage at Jerry Over Hires and Pay

What we have here is a big difference in opinion. Here’s some point-counterpoint.

Jerry Abramson says he needed Rick Johnstone and Jane Driskell to save the city by working on the budget, so he made a deal and paid them, and didn’t allow them to take vacation. So some extra vacation pay was in order, even though it had never been done before. “I feel very confident that I made the right decision for the people of this community,” he told the C-J.

Kelly Downard, the Republican Metro Council member, says that “every single person who works for this city should be outraged.”

Abramson’s H.R. guy, Bill Hornig, supported the unprecedented move. Police and firefighters union bosses were enraged.

Potential mayoral candidates Jim King and David Tandy put their feet firmly on both sides of the fence, hesitant to side with the Mayor or to speak out against him.

Oh, and the newspaper, of course, weighed in on Jerry’s hiring decisions Sunday, leading the cheers in an editorial that was sugar-coated even for a paper that’s never wavered from supporting Abramson. It called the Kim Bunton fiasco an aberration in hiring, ignoring the debacles involving, say, Animal Control and IPL.

Republicans, of course, love this kind of story. Here’s how GOP Party chair Brad Cummings piled on:

“It was recently uncovered that Mayor Abramson broke the law by awarding extra vacation pay for two of his cronies, Jane Driskell and Rick Johnstone. He claims this was the right action to take for the city of Louisville. We find this statement to be highly offensive to those who work in city government. I guess it’s official, there is one set of rules for his friends and another for the rest of city employees.”

Jewish Brings on a Temp CEO

Janice James, a 30-year health care veteran recommended by a consulting firm retained by Jewish Hospital/St. Mary’s HealthCare, will begin working as a transitional CEO later this week.

She’ll spend some time with Bob Shircliff, who resigned suddenly earlier this month. Shircliff, when he announced his intention to retire, said he would be staying on as long as needed, but word is that he won’t be around for very long.

A committee will begin a search for a permanent CEO immediately. Jewish personnel were notified by a memo from Board Chair LouAnn Atlas.

James, recommended by Chicago-based Wellspring Partners, is known for her expertise in management and finance. Expect some immediate changes to be instituted by James, including staff cuts and other cost-saving measures. Consultants are almost always brought in to do the necessary, but often painful, dirty work that corporations must do.