ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – KMOV anchorman Larry Conners has been “advised” by KMOV’s parent company Belo Corp. to not make statements, post on Facebook, or participate in interviews concerning a recent controversy over Facebook comments he made about the Internal Revenue Service.
Conners has hired St. Louis attorney Merle Silverstein. Silverstein issued a letter to media outlets claiming that the corporate order “is the only reason for his silence.”
Conners wrote Monday night that shortly after he interviewed President Obama and his wife in April of 2012, the IRS “started hammering” him.
“At the time, I dismissed the ‘co-incidence’, but now, I have concerns … after revelations about the IRS targeting various groups and their members,” Conners wrote.
Conners issued a brief explanation of his post during the 6 p.m. news Tuesday night, stopping short of apologizing but explaining that his troubles with the IRS started years prior to his 2012 interview with President Obama.
“Any issue he has with the IRS are personal issues. They have nothing to do with our television station KMOV or him as a journalist,” Mike Valentine, vice president for content at Belo, told the website BuzzFeed earlier this week. “As a news anchor, he owes a duty to our viewers to report in an unbiased manner. His Facebook post and his Twitter posts, as a result, were inappropriate. And we don’t condone personal posts that jeopardize the journalistic nature of our business. It’s really that simple.”