Kentucky’s NBC-affiliate WLEX cut ties with host Matt Jones because he is planning to write a book called, Mitch, Please, a book about Mitch McConnell. The subtitle is “How Mitch McConnell sold out Kentucky (and America Too).”
In an Aug. 16 tweet, Jones wrote, “Today WLEX made the decision to end my time as host of @hey_kentucky due my decision to write the Mitch, Please book. I disagree strongly with this decision but it is what it is. I will continue to pursue my passions and beliefs regardless of the result.”
Jones declined to comment to iMediaEthics beyond his tweets. iMediaEthics has written to WLEX.
WLEX issued a statement from its VP and General Manager Pat Dalbey reading, “Matt Jones is no longer with ‘Hey Kentucky!’. As a broadcaster of balanced and unbiased news and information, WLEX has an obligation to fairness across its platforms and we believe this decision is consistent with that commitment. ‘Hey Kentucky!’ and WLEX will continue to cover Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race with the same objectivity and transparency with which it reports all political races and other stories important to its Lexington community,”
The station also put out a statement from its parent company E.W. Scripps that read, “WLEX’s decision to part ways with Matt Jones was made independently, without any influence from political campaigns.”
In July, WLEX put Jones on leave because he was considering running in the Senate primary for McConnell’s seat.
The station was also in the news this year when it suspended anchor Lee Cruse for comments about a racist image making fun of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby.