DES MOINES, Iowa—Meredith Corp. fired the head of its broadcast group last fall after documenting his repeated comments criticizing blacks, including: “We’ve got to quit hiring all these black people,” according a company memo filed in a lawsuit against the executive.
The Des Moines-based media company, which publishes specialty books and magazines including Ladies’ Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens, fired Kevin O’Brien in October, citing violations of its equal opportunity policies.
According to the memo, O’Brien also:
complained that the Atlanta station hired too many black reporters and anchors; said that a black weather forecaster, who was eight months pregnant at the time, should be fired because she was too fat; declined a business deal with a minority-owned station, writing in an e-mail: “I’ve never seen a minority broadcast enterprise work in my entire life, especially if they have control!” and told a black waiter at a company outing: “You probably don’t like the same fruit as me. You look like a watermelon kind of guy.”