Departures raise questions about UNC-TV
The News & Observer
Monday, September 10, 2001
By Bill Krueger and Joseph Neff , STAFF WRITERS
With 11 transmitters blanketing the state, the reach of UNC-TV is vast. Almost anyone with a television in North Carolina can see what the state's public station is showing. UNC-TV can be a powerful way to get out news about the legislature, elections or natural disasters.
Or to promote the station's owner - the University of North Carolina system.
Several of the station's journalists - the people who report and produce UNC-TV's nightly news program, "North Carolina Now," or the weekly "Legislative Week in Review" - have left the station in the past two
years. They say they left, in part, because they felt that General Manager Tom Howe had turned UNC-TV into a cheerleader for the university system.
" 'North Carolina Now' is not geared to benefit the general public, but a small target audience - trustees, lawmakers and university people," said Marita Matray, a former "North Carolina Now" anchor who worked at UNC-TV for six years until August 2000.
"Very often we were forced to do stories that would benefit those few people who could affect the budget of UNC-TV. I always felt like a hypocrite." Matray now works for a Fox television affiliate in Cincinnati.