NMG board approves arbitration in firings case

The News Media Guild’s Executive Committee has approved arbitrating the cases of two staffers fired for making a mistake in a story about the Virginia governor’s race.

The Associated Press said Monday – the deadline set by the union for a response – that it was denying the grievance that the Guild had filed. Bob Lewis, a political writer in the Richmond, Va., bureau, and Norm Gomlak, an editor on the South desk, were fired in October about a mistake in a story about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, who later won the election.

The AP also fired Virginia news editor Dena Potter, but the Guild doesn’t represent her because she’s a manager.

Dena Potter, former news editor for Virginia and West Virginia, and Bob Lewis, former political reporter in Richmond, at a reception held Nov. 18, 2013  for them. (Photo by Steve Helber)

Dena Potter, former news editor for Virginia and West Virginia, and Bob Lewis, former political reporter in Richmond, at a reception held Nov. 18, 2013 for them. (Photo by Steve Helber)


Also Monday, GOP and Democratic politicians held a reception at a restaurant in Richmond to honor Lewis and Potter. Among those attending the reception were several members of the Executive Committee: President Martha Waggoner and vice presidents Mike Mazzo and David Melendy, along with Matt Small, a member of the Guild’s Representative Assembly.

Other staffers attending included Steve Helber, Steve Szkotak, Larry O’Dell and Michael Felberbaum of the Richmond bureau; and former AP staffer Vicki Smith, who worked in West Virginia. Potter also was news editor of that state.