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NY Observer vs. Brian Ross


The NY Observer asks, “Are Brian Ross’ ABC Scoops All They’re Cracked Up to Be?”

An excerpt:

A former ABC News staffer, who is not currently a competitor of Mr. Ross’, told NYTV that there was pressure from ABC News execs to create page hits for The Blotter. “The pressure for Blotter reporting is intense,” said the former staffer, “to the point that Brian or his senior producer will sometimes keep information off the D.L.—internal e-mail distribution lists—so that it can be reported first on the Blotter.” Doing so, the source suggested, allowed Mr. Ross to plant his flag on certain stories before internal competitors could raise questions.

Mr. Ross acknowledged to NYTV that he was wary of putting his team’s investigative stories on internal ABC distribution lists—some of which go out to hundreds of people. But he said it wasn’t because of territoriality, but rather because of the sensitive nature of investigative reporting.

“When you put it on there, you’re essentially publishing it,” he said. “I really do stress that the investigative unit should not be putting out material in drips and drabs. When we have it, we have it. I’m different that way. … There are people who will write on there things like, ‘So and so has told me this, but it’s off the record.’ I can’t write that and have it go to 300 people.”

Still, a former producer at a competing show described Mr. Ross to NYTV as a good investigative reporter whose “exclusives” occasionally seemed to fall flat—often by the end of the segment.


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