Belo Suits: They Fit Like They're Handmade!

Rhett Bomar, The Dallas Morning News has some more questions for ya, if you don't mind. OU does, apparently.

I saw last night on KTVT-Channel 11 that some 18 former Dallas Morning News staffers have filed suit against their old boss, claiming age discrimination. The fine folks at FrontBurner have posted the full text of their complaint against Belo Corp. here; mighty nice of 'em. In short, say Larry Powell and Bill DeOre and Gary West and 15 others canned during the 2004 circ-scandal layoffs: Since 1998, top Belo execs were fretting about the "greying of the newsroom" and saw the 2004 firings as a way of youngin' up the paper.

And after the launch of Quick, the newspaper for dummies, and the move to the paper's Web site, the lawsuit says, "The environment at the DMN became hostile for many employees over age 40, some of whom became the subject of derogatory comments based on their ages, made by younger managers; some were targeted in reviews by the younger managers, including older employees with medical problems, as DMN began to focus on hiring younger writers, editors and artists." Really, just start reading on pages 11 and 12.

In other Belo lawsuit news, The Dallas Morning News has filed its own federal lawsuit against the the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma. Seriously. Has to do with an open-records request the paper filed with the university on August 10, concerning the release of OU quarterback Rhett Bomar and guard J.D. Quinn. As you may recall--and there's a refresher available here, if so interested--Bomar was canned from the team when it came out that he was making $18,000 a week working for a Norman car dealership called Big Red Sports/Imports. Quinn was Bomar's roomie.

The News' Brian Davis requested "a complete list of OU student-athletes who have worked at Big Red Sports/Imports in Norman, Oklahoma, from September 199(?) to present time," "any correspondance from the University to Brad McRae, an Oklahoma resident and former general manager of Big Red Sports/Imports" and "a physical copy of the University's complete report about the NCAA violations made by former student-athletes Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn and their employment at Big Red Sports/Imports."

On August 22, OU's legal counsel, Amanda Miller, sent Davis a missive in which she said he could have the info he wanted--but only after "all personally identifying student information has been removed," which does kinda defeat the purpose. That got the nonprofit FOI Oklahoma, Inc., involved in the case; it's named as a co-plaintiff with The Dallas Morning News in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Oklahoma on October 13. --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky