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WPXI anchor decides against appeal

Friday, November 01, 2002

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

WPXI anchor Gina Redmond will return to the air Monday after deciding not to appeal a judge's sentence of three hours of community service for slapping the face of Roberta Petterson, a producer for WTAE who formerly worked with Redmond at WPXI.

In a prepared statement, Redmond said, "It has always been my intention to conduct myself in a way that merits the faith that has been placed in me by my employer and by members of this community. If I have failed to do that or if I have offended anyone, I am truly sorry."

Petterson had no comment on Redmond's statement.

At a hearing last week for a private harassment complaint filed by Petterson over the August incident at a Mount Washington bar, Redmond entered a plea of no contest. District Justice Charles A. McLaughlin said "the evidence presented shows Miss Redmond is guilty." After the hearing, Redmond phoned the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to say she planned to appeal.

WPXI executives took Redmond off the air last week because they said she had become part of a news story. She remained off the air this week, with Peggy Finnegan anchoring at 11 last night, the first day of the important November sweeps ratings period.

Channel 11 general manager Ray Carter said he's pleased Redmond will return to the station next week.

"This is a valued employee and somebody we would prefer to have covering the news instead of making it," Carter said. "This is, for us, the ideal situation to have her back in the anchor chair."

Carter said he didn't know if the controversy would affect Redmond's credibility with viewers.

"We have faith that this is a community that believes in forgiveness and allows people to regain any position that some may feel they've lost," he said.

Redmond expressed thanks to the station and viewers for support.

"It is my hope that by addressing these matters now, I can return to my work and devote myself to serving my station and this community."

Rob Owen can be reached at 412-263-2582 or rowen@post-gazette.com. Post questions or comments about TV to www.post-gazette.com/tv under PG Online Talk.

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