Skip to comments.It's over at Fox4 for reporter Rebecca Aguilar
Posted on 03/07/2008 6:32:46 PM PST by primeval patriot
Rebecca Aguilar's 14-year career as a Fox4 reporter has officially ended via a letter from an attorney representing the station.
In a telephone interview Wednesday night, Aguilar, 49, said she was checking her mail at mid-afternoon that day when she noticed an envelope under her front door mat. It informed her that Fox4 was exercising an option to drop her at the halfway point of a two-year contract that began on March 6, 2007.
"No doorbell, no knock on the door," said Aguilar, who had been on paid suspension since Oct. 16th following her controversial interview with an elderly West Dallas salvage business owner who had shot and killed two alleged burglars within three weeks time.
The interview had been hotly debated in both Dallas and around the country. Some accused Aguilar of "ambushing" a feeble old man; others said she had been aggressive, but not unduly so, in getting a story that rival stations also wanted on their newscasts.
The suspension came less than two weeks after Aguilar had accepted the Broadcast Journalist of the Year award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Three other Fox4 staffers connected with the story belatedly received suspensions lasting less than a week combined.
"I just think it's really sad that I gave this company 14 years and I did about 6,000 interviews," Aguilar said. "And now I'm out of a job because of one interview? It's like in one swoop it ruined my reputation. It ruined my name."
Fox4 management has a policy of not commenting on personnel matters. That also was NBC5's position Wednesday after confirming that veteran early morning meteorologist Rebecca Miller suddenly was out of a job after 17 years at the station. All in all, Wednesday was a bad day for local TV's Rebeccas.
Aguilar said she's well aware that some people feel there must be more to her suspension than just one story.
"I think a lot of people deal in rumors," she said. "Did the news director (Maria Barrs) and I go out to dinner or hang out together? No. But she was my boss and I respected her position . . . There definitely have been issues I can't elaborate on right now that I don't regret bringing to the attention of management. But if I was not a good employee and a solid reporter, there's no way a company would continue to renew my contract year after year. So people can talk all they want."
Aguilar said that most street reporters are expected to "go out there and ask the hard questions. As journalists, shouldn't we able to do the same thing on the inside? We shouldn't live in fear. Because once you put fear into a reporter, how can you expect that person to pursue the truth, pursue the facts? We cannot as reporters be Jekyll and Hyde, one person on the inside, another person on the outside. Those plantation days are over."
Aguilar, who hired an attorney after the suspension, declined to say whether she'd take any legal action against Fox4. "Let me just put it this way," she said. "I'm going to use any method I can to regain my reputation."
A number of her now former Fox4 colleagues, as well as reporters at rival stations, made efforts to stay in touch with her throughout the long suspension, Aguilar said. Others quickly washed their hands of her.
"I am so proud that many reporters, anchors and photographers have stuck by my side," she said. "They have called to ask how I was doing. They have boosted my morale. I definitely learned who my friends were at Fox4. And I'm disappointed that I also learned the truth about those who I thought were my friends."
Aguilar, whose husband still works at Fox4, contends that the station may have "ruined my career."
"I don't know what future opportunities I'll have," she said. "I'm going to be in google world until the day I'm dead. But I hope the decision that management made at Fox4 doesn't discourage other reporters around the country from doing their jobs for fear of retaliation or because they don't think managers have their back.
"Because I found out the hard way."
When you do what's right, that's the fist thing to go.
Serves her right.
Screw U Beyotch! Shame on you for what you DID to a poor 78 year old man (one possessing sheer guts, by the way).
“I just think it’s really sad that I gave this company 14 years and I did about 6,000 interviews,”
I think that the company feels the same way.
This may be of interest to you.
Watching the video, the edit, etc, she aimed and fired, and found out that the public is equally armed.
I might have had some sympathy, but when someone hires a lawyer to supposedly fix their reputation, then the party’s over in my book. Appears the station agreed.
Now she will be lucky if she gets a gig as a weather person on a local (down scale) TV station.
If you are a local personality (under the radar), you go to jail at most. If you are above the radar, you get a slap on the wrist and all is forgiven ( i.e. Rather). If you are in the middle your career is down the tubes. ;-)
Such is show business.
I’ve never liked Aguilar’s work. Terrible TV voice and overall, a poor reporter. Good riddance.
I searched “Aguilar” and didn’t see anything.
I guess I’ll just blame the new format.
Well, next time you will know what not to do. Sometimes the only way you learn a lesson is when hard consequences follow a big screw-up.
Besides, you guys never seem to want to give a free pass to anyone else, why should you all be treated differently? Your standards ought to be higher.
Thanks for the link.
Didn;t she get paid all these years?
It also references NBC5’s “Rebeca Miller” who was also apparently let go, she has been there forever and was actually really good and when I mentioned it to my mom she got pretty upset, supposedly she has been struggling with her weight or something I don’t know.
Explains a lot about her penchant for ambush journalism, doesn't it?
It appears that she wasn't raised with an appreciation of the United States Constitution and Bill Of Rights.
Good riddance, chica.
I join your mom in being upset about Weatherperson Rebecca. I always liked her. She is not thin, but she’s hardly obese and quite attractive. And what does that have to do with the weather anyway?
Bye then, don’t come back.
I agree with you, I only mentioned the “weight problem” because it was in another article as a rumor to the reason for her being let go, which would be a pretty bad reason.
The BOR and the citizens freedom had nothing really to do with her getting canned...it was 'office politics'...hehehe
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