The news director at Fox Broadcasting’s D.C. station WTTG-TV abruptly resigned Thursday after it was revealed he wrote an internal memo to Fox management pledging to consult prominent national conservatives before making staff changes.
Joe Robinowitz resigned on the same day the Washington Post disclosed the contents of an eyebrow-raising memo dated Aug. 31 to Fox News chairman Les Hinton. The memo, which was discovered by Fox employees and was apparently never sent to Hinton, detailed Robinowitz’s plans for staffing WTTG.
“As we’ve discussed on several occasions, it is going to be my pleasure in coming months to replace WTTG news staff who are inept, politically correct, shallow and/or unsuitablefor the jobs we have here in our newsroom,” wrote Robinowitz. “Since I’m very much a newcomer to this market, I am relying on the expertise of the following individuals to help me in this regard.”
The list was comprised of six conservative activists, including Accuracy in Media founder Reed Irvine, Media Research Center chairman Brent Bozell and former Bush administration speechwriter Tony Snow.
The memo — and subsequent resignation of Robinowitz — sent shock waves through the WTTG newsroom. The station’s 10 p.m. news is the top-rated primetime newscast in the nation.
Some employees claimed the departed news director was being made a “scapegoat.”
“This verifies there is a conservative agenda being funneled from top Fox management down to this station,” one newsroom employee claimed Thursday.
Robinowitz, who took the news director reins from Piers Akerman in June, was quoted in the Post as saying he also intended to add liberals to the list of people he would consult before making staff changes.
Station employees who spoke under the condition of anonymity disputed that claim.
WTTG general manager Tom Herwitz, in a prepared statement, announced Robinowitz’s resignation and said: “It is the policy of WTTG to provide balanced and objective news. On this score, we stand proudly on our record. We will continue to provide unbiased, fair and superior quality newscasts to the Washington community.”
Robinowitz could not be reached, nor could Hinton.
The only WTTG newsroom employee willing to go on the record was weekend anchor David Burnett. He said he has “never been told to slant a story a certain way.” However, Burnett said there is “something going on that you can’t put your finger on.”
Robinowitz will remain with Fox in some capacity, according to one source.