NFL team blockS WCPO reporter9/03/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
WCPO-TV Cincinnati chose not to film live inside Paul Brown Stadium for a special on the new football arena, when the Cincinnati Bengals and primary funding authority Hamilton County told the station that reporter Laure Quinlivan would not be welcome. Bengals Public-Relations Director Jack Brennan said that within team management was the feeling that Quinlivan, who has been reporting on cost overruns and other management problems involving construction of the publicly funded stadium, had not treated them fairly.
"This was an exceptional situation," he said. "There's nothing even close" with any other reporter. The county also believes the reporter to have been inaccurate and unfair, although the station says the county has never been able to back up those charges.
"We told them we'd like to be inside, but they had no more right to tell us who to use than we do to tell them who to start at quarterback," said WCPO-TV News Director Scott Diener. He noted that the special was largely positive, with a short piece by Quinlivan on the construction history. Quinlivan, whose reporting on the stadium has brought the station Peabody, AP and Sigma Delta Chi awards, was part of the special but not live in the stadium.
The Bengals position drew criticism from WCPO-TV rival WXIX-TV, which said in an editorial by General Manager John Lawhead that the team owed WCPO-TV an apology.