Radio station asks website visitors to rank the ‘hottest newswoman in Maine’

None of the women involved gave permission to be in the poll, and although some seem OK with it, others and their co-workers are calling the poll demeaning.

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It was also being discussed recently in a poll on AM radio station WDEA’s website, though not in a particularly academic or judicious way. DJ Fred Miller posted a poll asking listeners to rank “the hottest TV newswoman in Maine,” and listed the names of six reporters and anchors, along with photos and short personality bios.

What the poll entries lacked were examples of the newswomen’s substantive reporting work. At least two women in the poll, Melissa Kim and Jackie Ward, both of whom are reporters at NBC affiliates, declined to participate in the poll when Miller requested photos. They ended up part of it, anyway.

Mike Redding, news director for the stations where Kim and Ward work, WLBZ in Bangor and WCSH in Portland, told the Bangor Daily News that the poll is “sexist and objectifying.”

“They find it demeaning, and I find it demeaning. Our whole newsroom is offended by it,” he said. “No journalist worth her salt would participate in a contest like this.”

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