S.C. Sen. Ford targets news directors


South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford has told thousands of constituents
that Charleston news directors have conspired to keep him off the air -- a
contention that has baffled the news directors.

In a mailing to some 50,000 constituents, the senator, who did not return
calls, said local news executives have colluded to deny him air time.

WCSC-TV news director Don Pratt, for one, responded that he's counted more
than 100 appearances by the senator in news stories on his station in an
eight-month period, some of them multiple airings of the same story, as well as
significant numbers on other stations.

Moreover, Pratt and WCIV-TV news director Perry Boxx scoffed at the accusation
of collusion, citing competition as a considerably stronger motivation than any
imagined antipathy for a state official.

Both news directors said their contacts with their peers
have been few and infrequent -- Boxx only came into the market this year -- and
if there have been any conference calls or meetings, they must have missed