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Reporter suddenly quits, on air

Published March 19, 2014 at 8:34 am

A sudden decision by a news anchor that seems to have gained attention brings a curious question to different companies: what to do when you lose an important part of your team in a very public way?

For those who haven’t been caught up to speed, American anchor Liz Wahl has caught the attention of global media for her decision to resign from the American branch of the Russian news source RT.

During a broadcast, Wahl announced that she could no longer stay in her position because of the network’s connection to the Russian government, with whom she does not agree. Politico’s Dylan Byers reported on the footage and also noted that Wahl follows the resignation of a previous anchor from that same station.

Interestingly, RT does not seem to be taking this gracefully. Although the statement from the company addressing Wahl’s announcement “wished her luck,” there was also a bit of undisguised hostility in the comments pertaining to her decision.

“When someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt,” the piece reads. It also argues that the previous anchor who left, Abby Martin, did so “in the context of her own talk show” and therefore less obviously a bid for attention.

Still, although there are larger political issues at work here, the way that RT responds matters. Seeming bitter about something like this might come back to haunt the source later on and be a problem. To counter this, companies should take the videos connected to their organization seriously and think about how their reaction will be interpreted by the public.

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