KSTP: Hubbard plane flew new Gophers football coach here, but that’s not how we got hiring scoop

On Sunday, KSTP and Joe Schmit broke the news that the Minnesota Gophers had hired Jerry Kill as their new football coach. The plane that flew Kill to Minnesota that night was owned by Hubbard Broadcasting — which, coincidentally, also owns KSTP.

Schmit says that’s exactly what it was — a coincidence.

Schmit insists his employer did not pay in kind for a scoop: “I did not find out Hubbard was flying Kill until long after we broke the story. My sources had no connection to HBI … none.”

Schmit broke the news Sunday afternoon; as documented on the RedandNater discussion forum, the Hubbard-owned plane didn’t leave with Kill until 8:13 p.m. that night. When it arrived at 10:34 p.m., KSTP cameras were there.

Explains Schmit, “Once we found out Kill was coming in, we did figure out it was Hub jet from [a] web site and we did get into the hangar. I worked here long enough to know how to get into the hangar so I never called a Hubbard. They were surprised to see video on the news.”

Schmit adds that his sources didn’t give him the scoop as payback for Hubbard’s frequent-flier miles.

KSTP patriarch Stanley Hubbard has long been a big cigar who is not shy about deploying company resources where some journalistic enterprises might not; in the most recent election Hubbard Broadcasting directly contributed to political campaigns. I’m sure Hubbard’s favors have earned some sources’ good will. But despite its leader’s unconcealed sympathies, the newsroom steadfastly insists it remains independent and has to earn its scoops through dogged reporting.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 12/08/2010 - 04:42 pm.

    Can we change the name the column to “I hate KSTP and KMSP”. The change would give a new reader a general expectation prior to reading. I will also lend my services to Minnpost and write David’s next post.

    Headline: KSTP: Tom Hauser broke the Emmer concession, but that’s not how he got scoop.

    Body: It was Hubbard Broadcasting and its evil political contributions…I’m a bitter former employee with an ax to grind…

    Lame Minnpost Sign-off: What think…

  2. Submitted by David Brauer on 12/08/2010 - 08:15 pm.

    It’s OK, Joe, I’m used to the following “standard comment:”

    Fact that doesn’t comport to my bias, non-fact-based conspiracy theory, personal attack.

  3. Submitted by jana studelska on 12/10/2010 - 01:03 pm.

    Can I get a not-a-scoop-not-a-quid-pro-quo-just-being-a-nice-guy-shuttle ride on a Hubbard plane, too??

    Yep. That’s what I thought.

    Schmit might have come by the story honest. It just may be. But it *smells* bad. And no matter how it’s deconstructed, Stanley Hubbard makes his reporters *look* bad by swimming in the same pool as those whom his news organization is to be watchdogging.

    Bauer, why don’t you call Kill directly and ask him how he came about his airplane ride? It’s a less than auspicous start to his new career to be so boldly blurring the lines between work and privledge. Does the university’s media relations team want to comment on this comfy coincidence? Was the university unable to secure a plane ticket for Kill on a lowly flight with the rest of the commoners?

    Hard to say which is more offensive: The elitist sports entitlement or the sloppy newsroom hygiene.

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