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Reporter in Alcoa series no longer at UNC-TV

Posted August 18, 2010

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— The reporter behind a controversial UNC-TV series about Alcoa Inc. is no longer with the television company, said Gail Zimmerman, assistant general manager at the station.

Zimmerman said Wednesday that Eszter Vajda no longer works at UNC-TV. She would not elaborate on the circumstances, citing personnel matters.

Vajda's reports about the company, one of the world's largest producers of aluminum, have been the source of criticism and a legislative subpoena.

A Senate judiciary committee demanded data, records and footage from Vajda, then a senior legislative correspondent, gathered about Alcoa's activities in Stanly County. The committee was considering legislation that would create a public trust responsible for managing the Yadkin River and its dams.

Alcoa then asked “to inspect and copy all video footage as well as all unedited, edited and final versions, photographs, compilations, and related materials as well as all communications and/or correspondence sent or received by Eszter Vajda or any other employee or representative of UNC-TV since January 1, 2008” in connection with the production of the reports, a series the company says was “unfair.”

After the release of 5,800 pages of mostly redacted e-mails last week, Alcoa issued a statement saying, “It confirms what we suspected, that the stories were part of a carefully orchestrated plan to seize our assets and property.”


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  • anonemoose Aug 18, 2010

    Well, sounds like a new job for some SBI agents....

  • withnailharrison Aug 18, 2010

    @ ru crazy too,
    good point about poirot and mystery shows on pbs being liberal. you do have to be able to think to understand those plots.

  • My Two Cents Aug 18, 2010

    Just to let you know, I watch WUNC several times a week (so yes, DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT, I admit it). The programming is both informative and entertaining. Oh, and ncguy, some people think EVERY story on here is about the Democrats. Jeez, some folks just cant let it rest.

  • r u crazy too Aug 18, 2010

    I'm not too sure that UNC-TV is supposed to be a "real" TV station. Isn't it supposed to be "educational" in programming and as an educational tool for the university to train students in broadcasting? I'm sure that there is some "investigative" reporting that falls under that agenda, but the primary focus of the station should be education, cultural. I don't think that a lot of their programming is necessarily liberal, unless you count the Poirot series and various British mystery shows as left leaning.

  • vallery Aug 18, 2010

    it's about time the management at UNC-TV grew a pair & fired the person that caused the station's reputation to be tarnished to begin with. the actions of 1 has harmed the credibility of UNC-TV overall, & statewide.
    unfortunately, UNC-TV is not allowed to act as a "real TV station" because it is a state agency, & that too is a shame.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 18, 2010

    Ol Forrester, we're not defending Alcoa. We haven't gotten past the shock that PBS is still on the air.

  • withnailharrison Aug 18, 2010

    big bird and elmo part of a carefully orchestrated plot to sieze alcoa's assets and property? REALLY? IT'S THE INQUISITION! i'm guessing you all believe in UFOs and that 911 was an inside job as well...

  • Ol Forrester Aug 18, 2010

    Suggestion to all commentors, watch the series before you charge to Alcoa's defense. It may save you some embarrasment.

  • schlitzmalt Aug 18, 2010

    LOL.. so so true!

  • ncguy Aug 18, 2010

    Yes, I thought this was another story about democrats