Sports Anchor Mark Edwards Alleges Racial Bias in Suit Against KTHV

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 12:00 am  

Mark Edwards

Beiner said the lawsuit is easier to win when the reason for not promoting the plaintiff doesn’t seem to make sense.

Edwards’ Case

Edwards said in the lawsuit that he was hired in 2003 as a sports reporter, a job he worked at for several years. In 2007, Edwards said, he was offered a sports broadcasting job in Cleveland that would have paid $87,000 annually.

But, according to the lawsuit, Larry Audas, the president and general manager at KTHV at the time, told Edwards that year that if he stayed in Little Rock, he would eventually be promoted to be top sports director at the station.

Edwards says in his complaint that he decided to stay based on that. He received a weekend morning show co-anchor position and did that for about four years.

In 2012, Wess Moore, the white sports anchor and director, left the company, and Edwards said he should have been given the job, but wasn’t.

By 2012, Audas had left the station and had been replaced by Caplan. Both Audus and Caplan are white.

“I was told that the Sports Director title would be eliminated,” Edwards said in a complaint he filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February 2013, which was attached to his lawsuit. “In December 2012, I was told I would not get the pay increase because I am under contract.”

The EEOC took no action on Edwards’ complaint.

In his lawsuit, Edwards also alleges that when a station in Arizona offered him a better job at the end of 2012, an officer at Gannett ruined his chances to get it. The Arizona station allegedly was told not to hire Edwards and he wasn’t hired, the lawsuit said.

Edwards is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. As of Thursday, KTHV had not filed a response to the lawsuit.

Arkansas Business and KTHV have a news partnership.



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