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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Westminster, CO

    Default Coronavirus Hits KWGN Anchors. Cover-up Alleged.

    From FTV Live:

    Sources in Denver tell FTVLive that an Anchor on Nexstar’s KWGN Daybreak newscast tested positive for COVID-19.

    Word is that the station told the co-anchor to stay home and self-quarantined. The co-anchor has tested negative for the virus.

    But, insiders say that the Traffic Anchor and the Weather Anchor were not told to self-quarantined and were deemed “low risk” despite the fact that they shared the same studio.

    Word is the two decided to get tested and sure enough they have the Rona.

    “This is where I have a problem. Why wasn't the whole team quarantined and the studio completely cleaned?” said one station insider to FTVLive.

    The insider adds, Our station is also the only one in the market operating at normal levels. Nobody is really working from home anymore except when MMJ's shoot look lives from home, and our photog and reporter teams switch daily. I know the other stations are keeping the same photog/reporter teams to minimize interactions.”

    According to the health department, this Denver station has what should be classified as a coronavirus outbreak and it needs to be reported.

    Will the station report themselves to the health department?

    Employees are seeing red and they think management dropped the ball.

    FTVLive obtained an email that GM Byron Grandy sent to the staff about the positive tests:

    From: Byron Grandy
    Sent: Sunday, August 09, 2020 5:38 PM
    To: KDVR Staff
    Subject: Important Station Update

    It’s important you know we’ve recently had three employees test positive for COVID. As of today, your teammates are doing fine with mild or no symptoms at all. Since the beginning of this pandemic, your management team has been following a strict set of guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire staff. In these latest cases, we immediately conducted contact tracing and notified any and all folks who may have come in contact with those individuals testing positive. Because of your hard work the number of contacts has been greatly minimized. Any and all areas in the building that could have been impacted have been deep cleaned and our cleaning protocols continue on a daily basis. None of the impacted employees have been in the building since the positive test (or even before) and will quarantine or have quarantined according to CDC guidelines. This does include those identified in our contact tracing. Let me repeat that all of these measures have been completed and we’re monitoring any other changes. We will continue to review our safety measures for employees working in our building and those working remotely. Your management team is committed to your safety. This is a good opportunity to make sure we understand the safety measures we have in place.

    If you are in shared spaces and cannot create 6-8 feet of social distancing you must wear a mask or face covering.

    · If you are entering or moving around the building you must wear a mask or face covering.

    · Please check all signs and posted notices before entering the building.

    · If you are sick, not feeling well or believe you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID symptoms, please contact your supervisor and stay home. I would encourage you to check your temperature at home if not feeling well. The CDC defines a fever as 100.4 degrees or higher.

    · Observe social distancing of at least six feet when engaging in conversations, passing people in the hallway, or passing through shares spaces. I encourage you to wear a face covering even if you can create social distancing.

    · No in-person meetings with more than 3 people.

    · Please use sanitizer when entering the building and as often as possible. Additional sanitizers have been placed in the building.

    · Please be sure to wash your hands as often as possible.

    · Please clean your areas and any shared spaces prior and after use.

    · Our daily cleaning plan will continue.

    · Clean and wipe down any shared areas prior to and after using.

    · Do not congregate in the breakroom, bathrooms or other shared spaces.

    · Vendors will continue to use a designated entrance and exit and will wear masks when in the building.

    · If you are working remotely, please advise your supervisor before returning to the building for any reason or any length of time.

    Again, if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please let me or your supervisor know immediately.

    In an internal memo back to Grandy, Anchor Matt Mauro had some serious concerns about what the station did and how they handled this. Mauro thought that the management should have closed down the KWGN studio over the weekend for a deep cleaning and have the shows anchored out of the KDVR studio across the hall.

    Here is his memo to the GM and copied to News Director Brian Gregory:

    From: Matt Mauro
    Date: August 9, 2020 at 10:52:48 PM MDT
    To: Byron Grandy
    Cc: Brian Gregory , Kari Torgerson
    Subject: RE: Important Station Update

    Hi Byron,

    Thanks for the note. I’m glad to hear everyone who tested positive is doing well.

    I have some serious concerns and questions about the outbreak. Would you have a few minutes Monday when we could chat, please?

    I – along with many others who worked in the station this weekend and in the studio where COVID-19 apparently spread amongst people – are very anxious and frustrated because of how the situation was handled and the lack of communication.

    Could this e-mail have been sent out sooner? It’s very unnerving to learn about the cases through rumors; then, to go into the studio where someone who tested positive had worked just a day before. Could the Channel 2 studio have simply been shut down for the weekend and all shows anchored from the FOX studio? And again, could employees have been told they were going into a studio where COVID had spread? Many strongly feel they should have been notified.

    Can you please describe what a deep cleaning is and when it occurred? The cleaning crew this weekend did not know there was COVID in the studio and describe what happened Friday as a “wipe-down,” after the morning crew left.

    I have many more questions and concerns - about the reporting of the outbreak, if people were tested and continued to go to the station while waiting for their results and what can potentially be done to prevent spread inside the station in the future. As we all know, this virus isn’t going away anytime soon.

    I look forward to talking with you tomorrow.


    Matt Mauro
    Anchor / Reporter

    After getting that memo, GM Grandy sent an email to News Director Brain Gregory to see if in fact Mauro came to Gregory with his concerns?

    FTVLive obtained that memo as well:

    On Aug 10, 2020, at 6:31 AM, Byron Grandy wrote:

    Brian, Did Matt come to you with questions or call you this weekend.

    Byron Grandy
    VP/GMFOX31/KWGN Channel 2

    in a return email, Gregory admits that he did and also admits that he should have taken the KWGN studio offline, which he didn’t do.

    He also said that he let employees work while waiting on test results (what?!):

    On Aug 10, 2020, at 7:16 AM, Brian Gregory wrote:

    He did. And I addressed them. The cleanings were not wipe downs. I should have taken the Channel 2 studio offline. Chris was tested on Monday July 27. He wasn’t in the building after he was tested. Ken and Chris Tomer tested on August 3 — they did it as a precautionary measure. We didn’t require it so they were allowed to work until they got results back. That happens all the time.


    Grandy decided that he and Gregory needed to jump on a call to discuss this:

    On Aug 10, 2020, at 7:19 AM, Byron Grandy wrote:

    I’m heading in now. Lets do a call at 8. That work.

    Byron Grandy VP/GM

    Gregory couldn’t make that call with the GM due to having to run and errand:

    From: Brian Gregory
    Date: August 10, 2020 at 7:21:34 AM MDT
    To: Byron Grandy
    Subject: Re: Important Station Update

    I don’t think I can make 8. I can shoot for 815 or 830. Have an errand I have to run before coming in.

    Sent from my iPhone

    After the FTVLive story was posted yesterday, Gregory tried to do damage control and sent this email out to the very concerned newsroom staff:

    From: Brian Gregory
    Date: August 10, 2020 at 7:52:11 AM MDT
    To: Brian Gregory
    Subject: Fwd: Important Station Update

    Team — I am out of the office today. However I am making myself available to discuss this with anyone who wants to meet with me. Just send me an email and I will set up a Zoom call with you. I can start calls after 9am.


    Sent from my iPhone

    Judging by the emails to FTVLive, the staff is concerned as to how this was all handled, and now after 3 people have tested positive for COVID-19, Gregory is now ready to address the staff if they want.

    But you must wait until after 9 AM because he still has some errands to do.

    You have to feel for the staff that are worried about their health and who can blame them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Westminster, CO


    Not a good situation there... yikes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Westminster, CO


    Weathercaster Christine Rapp has announced on her Twitter today she has decided to leave KWGN/KDVR, and this weekend is her last there.



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