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Larry Conners Back in Court with Age, Racial Discrimination Charges Against KMOV-TV

Categories: Media

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Larry Conners
Even as he starts filming commercials for his new employers, Larry Conners is suing his ex-employers, KMOV-TV (Channel 4), for age and racial discrimination.

Conners' lawyers filed the suit in St. Louis Civil Court Thursday, alleging the news station paid the 66-year-old white man less than a black female co-worker, restricted his social-media posts and consequently fired him, resulting in lost wages, emotional distress and damage to his reputation.

Conners filed the discrimination suit with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and received a Notice of Right to Sue -- meaning he can file charges in a civil court -- in October.

(View that lawsuit in full in our previous story: Larry Conners Says KMOV-TV Paid Him Less Than Vickie Newton Due to His Race, Gender)

Conners is also suing for the right to work in television news. His KMOV contract blocks him from reporting on-air for six more months, but a judge ruled he can work in radio.

See also: Larry Conners Plans KMOV Exposé; Enemies Have "No Idea What They Are Facing"

KMOV's general Manager Mark Pimentel told Daily RFT in May that Conners was fired because he displayed questionable journalistic ethics on Facebook, not because of his age or race.

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KMOV
Vickie Newton
"Larry's recent termination had nothing whatsoever to do with his age, his prior complaints of discrimination or his leaves of absence," Pimentel said.

In 2010, Conners initiated arbitration against KMOV, saying the company was paying co-prime anchor Vickie Newton, an African American, more than Conners because of his race and gender.

Once that arbitration ended in 2012, Conners claims the station began retaliating against him because of his complaints and his age. Other, less experienced reporters were tapped to cover major breaking stories from the field or anchor prime-time broadcasts over Conners, he says in his previous lawsuit. When he came back from a brief medical leave, he says, he was demoted to covering the 6 p.m. -- not 10 p.m. -- news.

Conners was picked for one major story in April 2012: an interview with President Barack Obama, where Conners asked the president about his travel expenditures.

During that time, Conners also racked up a $85,000 bill when his tax accountant and the federal agency disagreed over deductions. In September 2012 the IRS cancelled Conners' payment plan and put a lien on his Clayton home.

Conners famously connected his IRS issues and the Obama interview on his KMOV-linked Facebook page in May 2013, alleging he was targeted by the IRS at a time when the federal agency was accused of persecuting organizations critical of the president. After he shared those thoughts on social media, KMOV officially fired him.

See also: KMOV-TV's Larry Conners Says IRS May Have Been Targeting Him For Years

In his lawsuit with the human-rights commission, Conners says his employers' scrutinizing of his Facebook page and his ultimate dismissal had more to do with his age and history of arbitration than with his actual opinions:

Prior to my complaints about discrimination, salary disparity and the arbitration, I always discussed current news topics on my KMOV Facebook page. However, since my complaints, (general manager Mark) Pimentel and (news director Sean) McLaughlin have severely scrutinized my comments; prevented me from continuing my Facebook discussion about the IRS controversy beginning May 13, 2013; directed me to read a statement on air that was inaccurate; blocked my access to my KMOV Facebook page, Twitter and KMOV email accounts; prohibited me from commenting or publishing anything about the IRS discussion; and terminated my employment with KMOV.

On the same day Conners filed the lawsuit in St. Louis civil court, he also began filming commercials for John Beal Roofing, where he has signed on to be a spokesman.

See also: Larry Conners on His New Role: Yes, I'm Doing Commercials; No, They Won't Be Goofy

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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36 comments
lkgoddard42
lkgoddard42

I'm glad he's gone.  I think the news crew they have now are doing a great job and younger reporters are given a chance to show what they have to offer. 

Kristy Lytle
Kristy Lytle

So just because some of mainstream media shows bias, that makes it OK? No, it does not. When the bias is so thick and not based on anything other than speculation and personal opinion there is a problem. He used his work affiliated Facebook - not his personal account. It's one thing to be biased (everyone is) but reporters are expected to report facts. Ask questions. But not speculate. Opinion columns are for speculation.

Wallace Sara
Wallace Sara

No they did it because he's from Texas and anyone NOT from here gets treated like crap REMMeMMBER?? Pretty much STL 101. Get it together RFT geez bahahah

Kelly O'Connor
Kelly O'Connor

Give it up, Lar. This didn't come out pf nowhere. Your time has come. Move on.

Bridget Aholt Blair
Bridget Aholt Blair

He couldn't get verbal broadcasts out correctly, acted like an arse and then some. Should've had your retirement prepared Larry instead of filing this bogus law suit!

Julie Berry
Julie Berry

You people really think news people are unbiased and don't speak their minds? You don't watch CNN or Fox News, do you? Im not a huge fan of Larry, but I hope he wins this. He has a right to his opinion and he calls a duck when he see's a duck...

Tony Tony
Tony Tony

I went to Fox2 after Larry left.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

He can do that all he wants, just not on the company's page.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

Then look closely at everybody else's page. Bet you won't find them acting like an asshat like Larry was.

Jenny Oehm
Jenny Oehm

Straight,Old, White Dudes, are discriminated against daily.....

Sj Braun
Sj Braun

he needs to move on; we need new 'professional unbiased' journalists especially on tv media

Jean Whitney
Jean Whitney

Shouldnt this guy take a powder? Before any more feet go in his mouth

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

I grew up with this family down the street. I am not surprised at the family's problems with the IRS, or Larry's attitude of personal exceptionalism with KMOV. Please go back to Texas, Larry, where being a Diva with a bad disposition is more common and accepted.

Timothy Burch
Timothy Burch

You should have seen it coming. Plan for retirement and get on with your life and enjoy your golden years!

Melissa Siggy Sigillito
Melissa Siggy Sigillito

Larry way to stand up for yourself show America why good quality reporters are hard to find. Stand your ground!

Darrell Ford
Darrell Ford

Larry is a sorry ass republican racist who insulted the POTUS and all of us. I need a new roof and you can bet I WON'T call John Beal. I don't patronize businesses that support racism.

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

Here's bettin' They did.......take 'em to Federal Court, Larry......

DeLynn Singer
DeLynn Singer

I hope he wins. He had writers. He read what they wrote.

Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips

He's a total rightwing knuckle dragging turd.

Kristy Lytle
Kristy Lytle

Ugh when will he just go away? He lost my respect when he showed his bias. Journalistic integrity is important.

Barney Rodawald
Barney Rodawald

Give it up Larry. What next when you lose this round. Are you going to say they fired you cause you lost your hair? Why don't you pay your taxes and retire to Florida.

Carrie Voelker
Carrie Voelker

I realize they're on different networks, but shouldn't Melanie Moon get fired over her online "ethics" around the Ryan Ferguson case too then?

Patricia Powell
Patricia Powell

Invasion of privacy.... Ooops that does not exist anymore! Don't tie your job friends to your FB that is what LinkedIn is for. Fun you and professional you should not mix. EVER!

Jolena Shatzer
Jolena Shatzer

Grasping at straws. He acted unprofessionally and now thinks he can stick it to his former employer when he violated agreements he signed regarding professional behavior. Why weren't these charges brought up months ago? Because he's been trying to figure out another gotcha with his lawyers. The whole things reeks of desperation and the further he pushes this the further he buries his career. Go away Larry.

Dalton Mason
Dalton Mason

I think he was wrongly let go. He was just stating a personal opinion, he wasn't being offensive or derogatory.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Conners should just join up with Beck and Limbaugh with all the complaining he is doing.  No one listens to them either.

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