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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Larry #1

This memo signaled a much-needed change in philosophy, when it came to management of The Ten O’Clock News. With our only newscast being at night, and with News Director Dick Descutner working only daylight hours, something had to be done to strengthen our nighttime management situation. Harlan Levy (the assistant news director) was simply too ineffectual to get the job done, and after yet another Larry Klaas memo complaining about him, Descutner decided to make Klaas the managing editor, and “reassign” Levy.

This, as you’d expect, presented problems. Klaas was both the anchor and the managing editor. When news would break, or when the producer would make any kind of in-show call, it was Klaas who had veto power over those decisions… while the show was on the air! Klaas was smart and quite competent, but he also had a gigantic ego, and many times there was just no reasoning with him. Still, it was a big step-up, news-wise, from what Harlan Levy offered in the evenings.

A year and a half later, Klaas was let go, replaced on the air by Barbara Sloan. Descutner would soon be out the door as well, but that’s a different story for a different day.

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