Dave Olson, Published April 18 2013
Settlement reached in Fargo anchorwoman Robin Huebner's lawsuit against Hoak Media
An order filed in U.S. District Court in Fargo by Judge Ralph Erickson alludes to a settlement reached by the parties, but available court records disclose no details.
Gina Janeiro, an attorney for Hoak Media, the parent company of Fargo TV stations KXJB and KVLY and the defendant in the case, confirmed Thursday that a settlement was reached, but declined to provide details.
Both sides later issued a joint statement that read:
“Robin Huebner and Hoak Media have reached a confidential, mutually satisfactory settlement of her discrimination lawsuit.
“While the parties are keeping the details of the settlement private, they would both like to thank the court, and specifically, Magistrate Karen Klein, for her assistance in reaching this resolution,” the statement said.
Huebner was 49 in fall 2011 when she resigned from Valley News Live two months after being moved out of the prime 10 p.m. newscast in favor of Stephanie Goetz, who was then in her mid-20s.
At a hearing in March, Huebner’s attorney, James Kaster, said the position change and a 39 percent cut in pay was an undeserved demotion designed to make Huebner quit.
Hoak Media maintained Valley News Live had a right to make programming changes to stay competitive.
Erickson recently entered a ruling in favor of Hoak Media and dismissed a part of the case that was based on federal claims.
The suit remained active on age and gender discrimination claims based on state law.
The settlement effectively stopped court proceedings.
Huebner’s suit had asked for at least $75,000 in damages.
Huebner is now an employee of Forum Communications Co., which also owns The Forum and WDAY-TV, a Valley News Live competitor.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555