California television station KTVU has reportedly fired several employees over its cringeworthy mistake nearly two weeks ago, when it was duped into airing the obviously fake names of Asiana flight 214 pilots.

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

KTVU-TV has dismissed at least three veteran producers over the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana airline pilots that became an instant YouTube hit – and a major embarrassment to the station.

Station sources confirmed late Wednesday that investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all sent packing following an in-house investigation into the July 12 broadcast of four fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

A summer intern at the NTSB who had confirmed the names to KTVU was also previously let go from his job over the ordeal.

Brad Belstock, one of those reported to have been terminated by KTVU, had deleted his Twitter account shortly after the erroneous TV report first aired, but not before tweeting his apparently horrified reaction upon realizing the gaffe. (Tweet screen capture credit, Matthew Keys).


Since its viral catastrophe, KTVU has continued to deal with the ongoing fallout.

First the station apologized publicly.  But apologies weren’t enough to stop Asiana Airlines from announcing (ludicrously) that it would sue KTVU over the false report.  Asiana eventually came to its senses and reversed that decision. And most recently, KTVU has been trying to memory hole the videos of its blunder by filing copyright infringement notices to have them removed.

The SF Chronicle also explained, in part, how the TV station got those names in the first place:

Sources tell us the fake names – which had been posted on the Internet at least two days before – came to the station via e-mail from an expert source who had provided information to the station in the past.

I wonder if the “expert source” who emailed the station found the names in the same places I found them online.  KTVU never did respond to my inquiry on the matter.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.