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|KEDM news director fired|
The region's only public radio station affiliate is without a news director for the first time since first taking to the air in 1991.
KEDM general manager Joel Willer said KEDM's advisory board was notified Monday of a decision to terminate Sunny Meriwether as news director.
Willer would not give any details on the termination, but he confirmed Meriwether's tenure at KEDM would end July 31.
"Her position ends officially at the end of the month," Willer said. "She is on paid leave in the interim."
Meriwether declined to discuss her termination with The Ouachita Citizen.
It is unclear who fired Meriwether. It also is unclear why Meriwether was fired.
In her position at KEDM, Meriwether was a University of Louisiana-Monroe employee. ULM holds the Federal Communication Commission license to operate KEDM. KEDM is located on the ULM campus.
The Ouachita Citizen contacted Laura Harris, a spokesperson for ULM. She said ULM could not comment on Meriwether's firing since it was a personnel issue.
In the meantime, Willer said KEDM has not established a timetable on naming Meriwether's replacement, only that the position would be filled.
"Right now, we're evaluating exactly what it is and which direction the position should go so we can frame the job description and advertisement," Willer said. "We're hoping to move forward with it as quickly as possible but also at a reasonable pace."
Management at KEDM is supported by a community advisory board, which raises funds for the station and also offers advice on programming and other management matters.
Community advisory board president Jim Cuthbert declined to comment on Meriwether's termination because "the community advisory board is not in a position to comment on personnel matters of ULM."
Cuthbert said the board's role at the station was to support the goals of KEDM.
"Therefore, we will continue to solicit community support for KEDM so that we can maintain the quality local news programs that were initiated by Sunny Meriwether," Cuthbert said.
Meriwether signed on as KEDM news director when the station first took to the air in 1991. She became a regular fixture in morning broadcasts on the NPR affiliate in addition to regular daily and weekly news programs such as "Lagniappe" and "The Friday Folio."
Merewether's lineup also included a weekly interview program with U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander.
Sam Hanna Jr., publisher of The Ouachita Citizen, contributed to this report.