KTLA “News at Ten” special-assignment reporter Marta Waller, who was stripped of her anchor duties at the station last fall, is expected this morning to file a lawsuit against her employer alleging age and sex discrimination as well as defamation, according to sources.
The suit names KTLA Inc.; the station’s parent, Tribune Broadcasting Co.; KTLA news director David Goldberg; and VP and G.M. John Reardon. It charges that Waller’s demotions from anchor positions on the midday and weeknight KTLA newscasts were “based on the discriminatory belief that it was inappropriate to permit an older woman” to anchor the newscasts, according to the suit.
In February, Waller, 44, filed a complaint against the station with the Dept. of Fair Housing and Employment that cited similar allegations. She had been removed from her anchor duties on KTLA’s midday newscast on Sept. 27 and from a co-anchor post on “News at Ten” opposite Hal Fishman at the end of October.
In the lawsuit, Waller charges that after demoting her, KTLA news director Goldberg made statements in the press that she was being removed from the anchor positions to “allow Marta to get a life” in the wake of several years of 12-hour and 14-hour days.
Reportedly, Waller has been negotiating in recent weeks with KTLA management to restore her anchor positions — without success.
Reardon, reached late Monday afternoon, said he was not aware of the impending lawsuit and therefore had no comment.
It was uncertain on Monday exactly how much Waller was seeking in monetary or compensatory damages from KTLA and Tribune.