Boston TV news is so boring, even a sexual harassment scandal doesn’t generate buzz.

Boston TV news is so boring, even a sexual harassment scandal doesn’t generate buzz.

She would once have been big news in Boston: an attractive blonde ex-TV reporter suing her former network-owned station, accusing an older on-air talent (also a woman) of engaging in “unwanted sexual harassment.” in the workplace”. ”

In fact, such a lawsuit was filed earlier this month in federal court here, by Karen Hensel, against her former employer Channel 10, its corporate owner NBC Universal, and the former news director of the station challenged by the ratings. of audience.

But the story quickly faded. What would once have been the talk of the town for days, a staple of tabloid headlines: “Dream Team Turns Nightmare News!” — generated zero buzz, anywhere.

Nobody cared. Oh sure, it was kind of tacky, but it might as well have taken place at a local Payless shoe store, or maybe the Orange Julius in the mall. Because once-celebrity local news “talent” are now almost as anonymous and interchangeable as the commuter ahead of you in the shortcut lane on Dunkin.

Television, especially local television news, is so over.

Chet and Nat won’t walk through that door. Neither did Liz Walker or Bob Lobel, or even Bob Bleepin’ Gamere. Tom Ellis and Tony Pepper, we barely knew you.

They used to be household names. Now there aren’t more than two or three presenters in Boston that someone outside of Marian Manor nursing home could pick from a lineup.

The lawsuit is actually not as lewd as the headlines suggested, with all the references to sexual harassment. Essentially, it involved two female rivals in the workplace: Hensel and a woman identified only as “Jane Doe.”

Both were assigned to what the station called its “investigative unit.”

This 2017-19 soap opera was ongoing on the station known as NBC10-Boston. They have NFL football on Sunday nights, and, er, that’s it.

The newscast has reportedly been running since January 2017 and the next time you tune in will be your first. Put another way, I watch NBC10 as often as I watch every other local “newscast.”

According to the lawsuit, Hensel was harassed by the Jane Doe due to the older reporter’s jealousy over, well, you can find out.

“Milisecond. Doe’s conduct and actions were designed and intended to interfere with Plaintiff’s job performance and professional success in an effort to make Ms. Doe the station’s lead investigative reporter.”

Remember, this sorry also-run outlet is owned by NBC, the longtime employer of crusading journalists like Brian Williams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Matt Lauer, Tiffany Cross, Mike Barnicle, Joy Reid, Chuck Todd and, of course, wrecking of trucks. unit on Dateline NBC.

Remember when NBC “News” faked Treyvon Martin’s 911 call? Or when they headlined your nightly news with Julie Swetnick’s totally bogus rape charges against Brett Cavanaugh? Or when they breathlessly reported that the FBI had been conducting “wiretaps” on Michael Cohen’s phones?

I could go on for days…

But you get the idea. And this was NBC’s local version of one of their “investigative” units.

Karen Hensel is, well, not bad. I had no idea who “Jane Doe” might be, but my listeners came up with a name. And when I saw the publicity photo of the Jane Doe, I understood exactly why the lawsuit said that she had been so obsessed with Karen.

It is a story as old as time. Key word: old.

Still, amid all the backstabbing in the newsroom, Hensel was told by a producer to “deal with (Ms. Doe) the best I can. You know how she is.

According to the file, Jane Doe discovered that Karen had started dating a police chief from a small town in Worcester County and turned her in to management. Finally, in November 2019, Karen was fired from her. Ella (ella Now she works in Miami for Ch. 7’s sister station).

Hensel is seeking unspecified damages for wrongful termination, etc. You don’t have to be Jeffrey Toobin to know this will be settled out of court. Corporate suits never want any discovery in cases like this.

To make the presentation even juicier, Hensel dropped another racy R-rated story from the lousy outlet, involving an anonymous “male assistant news director” allegedly tagging another female reporter.

Like an old country song, this third-rate romance and no-frills date led to “a confrontation at the station involving the male attendant and the wife of the on-air reporter.”

As Moe Bandy used to sing: “It’s a cheating situation…”.

If any of this had happened in, say, 1985, wow! Back then, both newspapers had at least one, sometimes two, reporters assigned to Boston TV, not to mention the different scribes who only covered local TV sports news. Furthermore, at least on this sheet, there was also a daily gossip column that had spies in every newsroom.

In those days, when a second-tier TV pie was arrested for shoplifting in Filene’s Basement, he had more ink than when an SJC judge was dragged down for the exact same thing. An early morning stabbing of a flamboyant local sportscaster in the Fens after a long booze cruise in the harbour: stop the presses!

Being on the local TV news in Boston used to be like the Cheers Bar: everyone knew your name. Now, it’s like signing up for the Witness Protection Program. They snatch you off the street, never to be seen again.

In those far-off days when local TV news meant something in Boston, we used to joke about the taglines of the stations we worked for:

“When the news breaks, we fix it.”

“If it’s news to you, it’s news to us.”

But now, nobody cares. Just ask “Jane Doe”. And it’s probably just as well.

Local TV news was always overhyped as a commodity, more by the popinjays and chatterboxes in live vans and make-up rooms than by the bored viewers just looking for an up-to-date weather report and the latest scores on those halcyons. pre-internet days.

And so it is, November 25, 2022.

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