Open Mike1/23/2005 07:00:00 PM Eastern
Leiberman’s Dismissal Dispute
Editor: In “No Swift Hire for Sinclair Vet” (Jan. 3., page 11), you stated that Sinclair Broadcast Group terminated Jon Leiberman, a former employee, |“after he crossed swords with management over its plans to air” certain programming. The impression left by this statement and others in your article was that Sinclair terminated Mr. Leiberman as a result of his disagreeing with certain corporate decisions.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
As Mr. Leiberman has previously and publicly acknowledged, he was not fired due to any disagreement with Sinclair over content decisions. Rather, he was terminated for discussing confidential company business plans with the press, in direct contravention of clear corporate guidelines relating to confidentiality.
As in any healthy business environment, Sinclair welcomes internal debate, the free and open exchange of ideas and different points of view. The success of such a practice depends, however, to a large degree on the confidence of the participants that the content of such discussions will not be available to persons outside the organization. When this trust is broken and an employee violates restrictions on discussing such internal dialogue with members of the press, then disciplinary action becomes appropriate. That is what happened in this case and any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect.
Barry M. Faber
Vice president, general counsel
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Well, We Have Shame
Editor: Sen. Joseph McCarthy was a Republican. In an editorial about getting your facts right (“The Real CBS Bias,” Jan. 17, page 78), you should get your facts right.
Kenneth J. Goldstein President Communications Management Inc. Winnipeg, Canada
(Editor’s note: The letter writer is correct; it was a whopper of an error. Although McCarthy first ran for office as a Democrat, he switched parties by the time he was elected to the Senate.)