Former KYW Anchor Mendte Gets House Arrest
Anchor sentanced for accessing email account of former co-anchor.
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/24/2008 11:48:00 AM
Former KYW Philadelphia anchor Larry Mendte was sentenced to six months of house arrest this afternoon after he had pleaded guilty to accessing the email account of former co-anchor Alycia Lane. Mendte also got three years’ probation, a $5,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.
In August, Mendte pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a single felony count related to hacking Lane’s personal account and accessing her emails more than 500 times over the course of two-plus years. Some of the personal information was leaked to the Philadelphia Daily News.
According to Philly.com, Mendte apologized to Lane, seated in the courtroom, before he was sentenced. In September, Lane hit Mendte and KYW with a lawsuit, charging the anchor with invading her privacy and leaking personal information to the media and accusing the CBS owned-and-operated station of defaming her before and after she was fired.
Mendte issued a lengthy statement late last week acknowledging and apologizing for his actions. “For thirty years, I have reported stories here in Philadelphia and across the country, and, now, I have become one through no one's fault but my own,” he said. “My actions have hurt and disappointed my family, colleagues, friends, and viewers who trusted me, and for that, I am truly sorry.”
Both anchors have been let go from KYW.
Is there an untold story here? Someone planted a keystroke capture device or software on a KYW-TV computer. An employee reportedly was fired not long after the email hijinks, apparently for unrelated reasons. The rumor is that maybe he was the one who planted the device. If so, why did he do it? At whose behest? Larry admitted to the crime, but was he enticed? Did his lawyer tell him to keep his mouth shut so he would get off light? Is some entity sending a message here to the media? Larry was wrong to do what he did; but if a mole was placed in a major media newsroom, that's a very frightening and chilling development. We may never know, because the Philadelphia media does not do much real investigative reporting these days. They've apparently never even asked the question. Wonder why the media is so timid? Maybe Larry can answer that question... if he could.
Adam Smith - 11/24/2008 10:30:00 PM EST
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