NBC Affiliate KFYR Threatens SAB Over Linked Article

As most of you readers know, reporter Brian Howell came to work for SayAnythingBlog.com after resigning his employment at NBC affiliate KFYR. The reason why Brian left KFYR is because after Higher Education Chancellor Bill Goetz paid a visit to KFYR’s news management, complaining about Brian’s coverage of higher education stories, KFYR pulled him off the story.

Brian felt, and I agree, that this cave to the demands of Goetz was unethical and so he left and came to work for a place where we don’t worry about whether or not the truth makes people angry.

Since then Brian has produced a couple of stories about KFYR’s handling of the Goetz situation. In his initial video report about the story, Brian used clips from his stories at KFYR as illustration. The clips were labeled as having come from KFYR. We believed this was fair use of KFYR’s material, something other news outlets including KFYR do all the time, but they disagreed and requested that we remove the video content from our report.

Despite our disagreement with their position, we complied. We didn’t want to let a brawl with KFYR obscure the real story which is the problems in North Dakota’s university system. But now KFYR has contacted us again, this time saying that because we linked to one of their stories on their website, we’re again treading on their copyrights.

Brian received a call from KFYR Program Manager Jim Sande who said that the links to KFYR video reports contained in this SAB post (one link pictured below) constitutes a violation of their copyrights. Mr. Sande said that if we didn’t remove the links, KFYR would have to “explore other options.”

Well they’ll have some exploring to do, because we’ve told them to go pound sand.

Linking things on the internet is not copyright infringement. If it was, anybody who had ever linked an article on a blog or on Facebook or on Twitter would be guilty of copyright infringement. Heck, KFYR themselves has “Share Story” links at the bottom of every one of their articles (here’s one example), which is basically inviting readers to link to their content.

Maybe the management at KFYR is so out of touch with the modern media that they really do think that a hyperlink constitutes some infringement of their rights. More likely they’re a news outlet that has been thoroughly embarrassed by the outing of their complicity with the higher ed system in covering up a major scandal and are trying to bully and intimidate those doing the embarrassing.

Well it’s not going to work. The links are staying up.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • charliemax

    Punish them with more clips. They don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • sbark

    what have they got to loose –they might as well try outright intimidation

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    You can link to the story, they can take the story down if they want.  

    The funny thing is who in the world is stupid enough to turn down traffic referrals to their website.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Right.  I mean, what do they expect?  You put stuff on the internet, other people are going to link to it.

      • http://pocketjacksblog.blogspot.com Jay W.

        You took down some video, and they took that as encouragement to see how far they could go.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Maybe we shouldnt have taken down the video, but we honestly didnt want this to turn into a brawl with kfyr.

          • RCND

            Put it back up

      • Rick Olson


  • Game

    Rob, I don’t agree with you on much, but give them hell on this one.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob


      • Captornado

        Rob do you own a dog? If so, get him inside before Monica Hannan shoots it!

      • Ndconservative2011

        Rob,  The real significant difference between KFYR and S.A.B. is that your blog is a free flowing instrument that allows various opinons, debates and discussions, and KFYR muzzles free speech.
        Keep up the good fight and “Link On”.

  • cherz1967

    KFYR is a joke, as is most of the ND media.  The SAB is a beacon in the right.

  • Tim Heise

    “we’ve told them to go pound sand”

    Awesome. Give them hell.

  • InTheKnow

    Hoak Media/KFYR TV are “acting stupidly”.  They were once a great news organization but are now reduced to a former shell of themselves.  They clearly have no clue how modern technology works.  The powers that be at KFYR know SAB has made them look bad in the past few weeks but yet they continue to dig that hole.

    You are making a difference Rob and doing the job they should be doing.  The word is spreading that the KFYR TV news dept.heads are nothing more than a bunch of panty waists trying to act the role of a bully. Dick Heidt and Monica Hannon should be ashamed.  They know better.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    The antique media doesn’t like having to deal with life in the 21st century.

    • Camsaure

      They also don’t like having to deal with that “antiquated constitution” and it’s first ammendment.

  • Rick Olson

    I also don’t think KFYR has a leg to stand on. They posted the video on the internet, so it’s fair game. I didn’t know Hoak Media owned KFYR TV.

    When Hoak took over KVLY TV 11 and KXJB TV 4 here in Fargo; those two stations are now merely shells of what they used to be. When Hoak combined the two separate news organizations of KVLY and KXJB into the single “Valley News Live” thing a couple of years ago, in my observation, it appears to be proof in the pudding that whatever Hoak Media puts their hands onto turns to crap.

    Look at it this way. Numerous independent sources confirm that Hoak ruined Sioux Falls, S.D. ABC affiliate KSFY Channel 13, and once again in my observation, they’ve all but ruined KVLY and KXJB here in Fargo. KVLY of course is the NBC affiliate in Fargo and Grand Forks, and KXJB is the longtime CBS affiliate here in the Red River Valley. KVLY collaborates with all of the other NBC stations in North Dakota, including KFYR, and KMOT in Minot for their statewide coverage of North Dakota high school state tournaments.

    From what InTheKnow says, they’re ruining KFYR as well. Why do station owners keep selling to those clowns from Texas?

    • InTheKnow

      Hoak hired John Shelby for ND at KSFY and he nearly destroyed it. A real piece of work that only knows how to dismantle a TV newsroom.  Agreed about Valley News Live is a purely an el-crapo organization.

      • Rick Olson

        It took the collective efforts of nearly every news media person in South Dakota to convince Hoak Media to send John Shelby packing.  Threads with hundreds of posts appeared on the Red and Nater discussion board http://www.redandnater.com at which media people from around the region here go to rant. 

        The guy that Hoak has running the Valley News Live newsroom,  Griff Potter, must have been an understudy of Shelby.  He’s pretty much ruined the VNL operation.  VNL is also now big into splashy lead ins…”Breaking News” and “Developing Story,” etc. all of which were hallmarks of Shelby’s KSFY newscasts.  About the only saving faces left on Valley News Live are Lisa Budeau, Mick Kjar, longtime KXJB TV/Valley News Live anchor Mike Morken, to a certain extent Hutch Johnson and to a lesser extent main sports anchor Dan Hammer.  Morken is a North Dakota native, grew up in Minot and went to work for KXMC TV in Minot, before moving to Fargo and KXJB TV.   

        Otherwise, just about everyone else on the VNL news team are recent hires. We all know about the Stephanie Goetz hire, which wound up costing longtime KVLY/Valley News Live anchor Robin Huebner her job.  Huebner went in to turn in her notice following a job reassignment, but Potter informed her that she was done immediately.  She is now pursuing a federal age discrimination lawsuit against Hoak Media.  Stay tuned.

        • InTheKnow

          I have followed El-Shelbo’s reign of terror at KSFY on the R&N board.  Helped make time go by pretty fast.  Here is the latest on him.

          • Rick Olson

            Of course, the John Shelby we’re talking about is NOT related to the legendary Don Shelby, who retired as the main anchorman at CBS Network-owned WCCO TV 4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Just wanted to make that distinction clear.

            The former WCCO anchor Don Shelby did an afternoon program on WCCO Radio 830 AM there in the Twin Cities weekdays for a while, but has since completely left WCCO in retirement.

    • Guest

      One can blame Hoak, sure, but the death of local newsrooms — TV & newspapers — is a national phenomenon. I walked through the D.C. affiliate for NBC a couple years ago. It was depopulated.

  • The Fighting Czech

    yes good luck  with the fight.  This is a good site to visit.,  but I have one complaint.  I know you dont like to censor people,  but HEY its your site. a little censorship of personal attacks, and  the swearing would go a long way to move this site up a notch…. 

    • E4if

      I like the swear words and insults :)

    • Spartacus

      What? I thought you liked being called ” The Prostate Czech”. ;)

      • The Fighting Czech

        well,  I used to work with a crew of 25 mechanics,  Ive heard it all and been called it all…. as one of my guys told me,  You can never let anyone know where your goat is tied up..  I guess Im getting older now,  but,  all the insults and name calling in a forum like this seems like a complete waste of time….and doesnt do anyones credibility any good… 

        • Camsaure

          How else can Hanni and Hater etc. help illustrate the lefts stupidity?

    • Rick Olson

      Agreed.  While it’s okay to disagree, I believe we must not be disagreeable about it. 

  • headward

    Didn’t a news station say they got wind of news without giving credit to SAB?  They even showed the blog on TV.  But that is a good example of fair use and being a crappy reporter for not giving credit.

  • R David Adams

    KFYR how far the once Mighty have Fallen.

  • Conservative_Egghead

    Rob:  We haven’t always agreed, but you’re 100% right on this one.  This should definitely fit under the “fair use” exemption.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The thing is, this isnt even use. We are referencing. They may as well be accusing us of plagiarizing Hemingway because we told you the title of A Farewell To Arms.

      • Gern Blanston

        Ha!!! There you go again!!!! Plagiarist!

  • Spartacus

    KFYR is just trying to control what Brian is making public. If KFYR didn’t want Brian disclosing inside information while working for a “competitor” they could have easily offered him a severance package contingent upon his following rules they wanted him to abide, such as not discussing the higher ed. fiasco. They didn’t, he’s free of them and able to say anything he wants to. Now they’re embarrassed and in full cover their ass mode sending their hired guns out for SAB.

  • whowon

    Stopped watching them or going to their site long ago, worthless.

  • http://randysroundtable.blogspot.com/ Randy G

    KFYR has been dark in our house for a while now. Thanks for putting this out and standing your ground Rob.

  • Jimmypop

    this is where any business needs to tread lightly… if your lawyers are free, have at it. by all means, crush them. if they are not, you’re done. as when you pulled the video… you gave up knowing you cannot afford a fight in court.

    right or wrong, and its clear you’re right, its the money that will push you one way or another now. i hope you have some…or they have too little.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      As usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Jimmypop

        uh, yeah… so why did you take the link down? you need to be quiet and not so defensive sometimes.

        again, put the link back up…nothing to fear, right?

        I will be waiting.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          The links never came down.

  • Clint F

     Jim was like a dad to me for over thirteen years at that station (back in the good days).  My guess he’s been ordered to pull this crap since the web page falls under his purview.  A move this wacked probably came from the Texas tyrants.


  • Anti-NCAA

    Everyone should email KFYR complaining…. then post messages of their blocking of true reporting.   It’s a topic the public needs to know about.   Keep it up, let the company feel the backlash from their poor decisions.

  • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

    How embarrassing for them to think they could make such an empty and immature claim that linking to a story was a “copyright infringement”. Sounds like they get their legal advice from the firm of Fisher Price.

    • VocalYokel

       “Sounds like they get their legal advice from Fisher-Price.”

      I was thinking more along the lines of Dewey, Cheathem & Howe.

      • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

        I first heard of them from Jay Ward and Bill Scott!

        • Bat One

          Best animated TV show ever produced!

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

             This side of Frostbite Falls anyway…

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler


          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            A very nice hem. Hike your skirt up and it won’t get dirty!

  • borborygmi

    ” a place where we don’t worry about whether or not the truth makes people angry.”   Or in the case of many of your headlines ‘half truths’

  • SayNothingBlog.com

    Good to know your stance on this. I’m starting a for-profit WordPress blog for liberal North Dakotans and it’s great to know I can use your content freely on my site. There aren’t many sites that allow that. Obviously, I’ll label it as having come from your site. It will be a win-win, because your content is going to be much more engaging than ours and our readers will see your association with our liberal blog.

    My advertisers will be really excited about this. They won’t need to advertise with you, because our readers can get your content on our site.

    Wow! What a great partnership! I’m so excited to be working with you! Best of all, no red tape, no pesky agreements, no lawyers… and it’s FREE for me! It’s great to see 21st century forward-thinking people that understand the benefits of allowing others to ride your coat tails. Rising tides float all boats and I’m ready to set sail with you, Say Anything Blog. You are the wind beneath our wings.

    Well, time to get to work! I’ve got a LOT of copy/paste to do…

    • InTheKnow

      Well you got the name right!  If it is a liberal blog, Say Nothing would be a good fit!

      • SayNothingBlog.com

        Is “liberal North Dakotan” an oxymoron? Maybe it’s not a good niche.

        We’ll go that route anyway. We’ll post excerpts of Say Anything Blog articles along with our opinions and commentary, generating plenty of discussion in defense of conservative principles.

        • 2hotel9

           Ah, ain’t that special, another whinny Democrat Party slut toddled in to cry and whine. Bless its America hating little heart!

          • SayNothingBlog.com

            Hey, check your filthy language and don’t ever call me that again. Democrat, I mean. I may be a dumpster skank, but don’t call me a liberal. I’m an opportunistic America-loving capitalist who is looking forward to making money off of Say Anything Blog. If you could comprehend what you read, you’d see I’m not whining. We’re excited!

            The editor is okay with reprinting copyrighted content without permission, which is awesome! A liberal blog taking excerpts of the views expressed here and bashing them with our own commentary is sure to generate some great traffic. We’re going to put a huge banner with the Say Anything Blog logo, thanking them for their stance on open content. Won’t it be great for Say Anything Blog to be associated with a liberal blog? Imagine the possibilities!

            We’ll see you all soon at SayNothingBlog.com! (Despite the name, you can still talk. We are just being ironic.)

    • Guest

      “Sorry, the website saynothingblog.com cannot be found”

      • SayNothingBlog.com

        “Sorry, the website saynothingblog.com cannot be found”


        • Guest

           That’s exactly how I reacted when I clicked your link and I got that message.

          • SayNothingBlog.com

            I’m still laughing about the fact that you checked it out!

            And for the record, Say Anything Blog has stated their position on sharing content, so we’ll state ours: If Say Anything Blog or ANY entity reposts Say Nothing Blog content on a for-profit site or anywhere other than for personal use, I swear to God we will sue you so hard.

          • Guest

             I’m still laughing that you’re promoting a site that doesn’t exist. But, stay in touch and keep everyone posted regarding your “project.” Threats of law suits already…don’t be so insecure. LOL!!!

      • 2hotel9

         Of course it is fake, all whinny Democrat Party c*nts are liars.

    • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

       Typical lib. If it weren’t for false equivalence, you’d have none at all.

  • Rick Olson

    Maybe he hasn’t set it up yet.

    • Guest

       Maybe he is a she. It did describe itself as a “dumpster skank” Or maybe he/she is just a cum dumpster.

      • Rick Olson

        Hey, you said that, I didn’t!!

        • Guest

           Yes, I did. So what.

          • Rick Olson

            Nothing.  Nothing at all.

      • BelieveAnythingBlog.com


        No, there is no Say Nothing Blog and there won’t be one, not from this cum dumpster anyway. (Thank you for that one, very nice, very nice. I’m throwing that one into my repertoire.)

        I wouldn’t be able to tolerate people who believe everything they see and hear or people who take everything completely seriously or people that cling to a political party, religion or ideology so tightly that they will contradict themselves in order to protect it. Instead, stay tuned for BelieveAnythingBlog.com.

        Say Nothing Blog could be wrong on this one. I’m willing to admit that. Maybe the KFYR content falls under fair use, I’m not an attorney, so I’m probably off of my rocker. (No, definitely off of my rocker, but possibly wrong about the fair use issue.) Immediately when I heard that their reporter was joining this blog and saw him posting the content, I wondered how he was still employed with them (which I guess he wasn’t employed at the time of joining the blog) and how he was able to publish their content. Even if he produced it, I would think it would be property of KFYR and that they would be able to protect it.

        Just because something is on the internet doesn’t mean you are entitled to use it. If I park my car on the street, are you entitled to use it? Everyone in here is always talking about people feeling entitled. What makes you entitled to use content produced by someone else? Free speech? Well free speech doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to take a dump on your car when it’s parked on the street.

        Content is being copied and pasted onto this site and Say Anything Blog provides commentary on it for the purpose of driving traffic to this website and gaining revenue from advertisers. That alone doesn’t mean it’s a violation of fair use. But doesn’t anyone understand where KFYR is coming from? This isn’t a personal blog or professional news organization. It’s a politically-charged, muckraking and entertaining for-profit blog. They don’t want their content associated with it. What’s wrong with that? If I own my car, I have the right to not let you use it. Maybe I’ll allow my neighbor to use it, but if I think you are a scumbag, I don’t have to let you use it.

        KFYR didn’t take legal action yet, they asked the editor to remove it and if he felt so strongly that his use of the content was fair use, he shouldn’t have yielded.

        • Guest

           “Well free speech doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to take a dump on your car when it’s parked on the street.”

          Some would disagree with you, and those on the left.

          • BelieveAnythingBlog.com


            Okay, I think I may be starting to like this place…

            Too bad disagreeing with something doesn’t make it lawful.

        • Camsaure

          Sheesh, I think “childrens blog” or something similar would be more appropriate for your fantasy endeavor.

        • Demosthenes

          Leave the internet out of this, he didn’t do anything to you.

    • 2hotel9

       No, it is a suckpuppet used by one of our regular leftards. As I said, of course it is a lie, lies are all whinny Democrat Party c*nts have.

  • Gene Redlin

    This is as death rattle of a dying media mentality.  Bless you Rob for standing.

  • Camsaure

    I wonder if KFYR and the rest of it’s sister stations have the guts to make this a news story on their own stations? My guess would be they rather keep it quiet and swept under the rug. Go ahead KFYR put it on the six oclock news I dare you. You really want us in the public to know how you hate the first ammendment and how you have been bought dont’t you?

  • Camsaure

    Would it be inappropriate to call KFYR a whore to the SBHE? Just askin.

  • PB Fighting Sioux Fan Forever

    Share definition:  to use, participate in or recieve jointly. to have a share.
    Courtesy of the Random Houe Webster’s Dictionary.

  • Sparkie Arbuckle

    “he left and came to work for a place where we don’t worry about whether or not the truth makes people angry”CORRECTION:
    “he left and came to work for a place where we don’t worry about [the truth]”

  • Dak

    Good job ROb