It’s only tangentially sports-related, but since one of the subjects involved in this whole sordid mess sent photos of herself in a bikini to the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen, it fits — and besides, I work in a newsroom, so this is hellishly goofy. Hat tip to the good editor at Hugging Harold Reynolds for keeping up updated on the latest in the Alycia Lane mess: her former co-anchor, Larry Mendte, now faces charges for busting into her e-mail, both home and work accounts, allegedly more than 500 times.
The allegations are the latest in what is playing out as a titillating local news rivalry that has already ended Lane’s career at KYW-TV, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. She was fired in January after a series of embarrassing off-camera incidents, including a scuffle with a New York City police officer.
Now the scandal revolves around Mendte’s alleged off-camera conduct. A one-count information charges Mendte, who co-anchored the news with Lane for more than four years, with a felony count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization.
Mendte, 51, was fired last month after FBI agents searched his home and seized his computer.
“As we continually have said from day one, Larry has been cooperating fully with the investigators,” said his attorney, Michael Schwartz. “He continues to cooperate and will accept full responsibility for his actions.”
After accessing Lane’s e-mail, Mendte contacted a Philadelphia Daily News reporter and relayed details about her criminal case in New York, including a change in a hearing date and other information, prosecutors said.
Lane’s lawyers are claiming professional jealousy as the motivation, as the younger Lane pulled much more money than the elder Mendte to the tune of $100K. This whole mess has turned into a wonderful train wreck, and is indicative of the sniping between on-air talent at big-time TV stations — well, not indicative of the normal stuff; this is obviously beyond the pale.
Newsrooms are pretty much this bitchy, catty, etc. It usually doesn’t go this far, though — just quiet sniping at co-workers to others when they’re not around. Let’s just say, however, that I expect Lane to find a job in a smaller city soon, while Mendte is finished.