Three veteran KTVU producers were fired yesterday over the on-air gaffe regarding the names of the Asiana Airlines pilots involved in the July 6 crash at SFO, reports San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross. KTVU investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu, and producer Brad Belstock were fired over the July 12 incident, in which anchor Tori Campbell read the obviously incorrect names “Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow,” on air, even though the real names of the pilots had already been made public. Asiana Airlines threatened to sue the station over the blunder, but then dropped the idea.
M&R reports: “Sources tell us the fake names - which had been posted on the Internet at least two days before - came to the station via e-mail from an expert source who had provided information to the station in the past.”
Former KTVU political editor Randy Shandobil said the error was emblematic of the pressure on the media to get information out as quickly as possible, and called it a “systemic” problem.