News Media

Hanian Lured To Otter Campaign

Guv candidate Butch Otter won’t have to worry about KBCI-TV 2 reporter Jon Hanian doing any expose’ stories about him. Taking a lesson from George Bush, Otter made a preemptive strike: He hired Hanion away from the news game.

Otter already had former Associated Press reporter Mark Warbis on the payroll. If he gets Dan Popkey he will be untouchable.

Instead of being an award winning journalist jerking the chains on the politicians, Hanian is now one of them. He will be the one trying to peddle pitiful stories about awards, appointments, greenie committees, and proclamations.

Hanian’s old boss told the GUARDIAN the move came about very quickly–within the past week.

“Jon struggled with the decision, but he wants to start a new career path,” said Mark Browning, the news director at KBCI-TV 2. Browning called Hanian, “The best journalist I have known in the past 22 years. We will miss him in the newsroom.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jon, you were one of my last hopes that investigative journalism would survive locally. But I understand all too well the lure of a bigger paycheck. We’re a lesser place without your prying mind and keen intellect ferreting out corruption to help make our world a better place. I hope your talents are respected and utilized in your new position.

  2. Jon Hanian is one of the best journalists I’ve ever worked with — a man of honor and integrity. We already miss him at KBCI.

    But despite his many state and national awards, I must point out Hanian was never honored with a Guardian “Dope Reporter Award” so his career is lacking to some degree.

    And I understand he’s now hard at work learning important spokesperson-type lines such as: “That isn’t news!” and “Can’t we do this on Monday?”

    Just kidding, Jon. Best of luck in new career path. Guess we’ll see what happens in November.

  3. Damn it.

    I kind of thought Jon would stick it out.

    Jon deserves to move up and on. He has done an excellent job around here and actually has some ethics.

    Let’s all hope he remembers those ethics in his new job.

  4. Well so much for being a independed thinker. One can’t have a mind of his own and make this change

  5. I must say I don’t like journalists but my experiences with Jon Hanian have been very positive. I consider him a friend and respect his ethics and integrity. He is a class act all the way. Truly an asset to Boise media. Best of Luck to him.

  6. Don’t sell the guy short folks… This might be one of his biggest stories yet!

  7. Sadly, this is one more blow to a station I have enjoyed watching over the years. KBCI hasn’t been the same in a while, and I’m sure Hanian felt the frustration. This may have led to his departure. The budget has been cut dramatically in the last couple of years and their latest cost-saving move is to have an intern report the news. One of the things Channel 2, and most other stations, prided itself on was not letting interns on the air. Guess these are desperate times.

  8. I remember years ago when I dated a “reporter” for a local tv station. It didn’t take long before I realized he didn’t “report” he just read. He was actually dumber than a piece of lettuce. I don’t know if he was an intern or if there was such a species then. The KBCI girl is quite good at reading – I doubt she is a “reporter.” It is so sad that we don’t get the information we need. Everything seems to be about money, not truth or honesty.

  9. Chet Parker
    Oct 8, 2006, 11:59 am

    Congratulations to Mr. Hanian! I’ve often wondered what kept him in the cess pool currently known as CBS-2 news (an effort to make us think we’re not watching KBCI anymore?)so long after the incompetent leadership let Mike Keckler, Scott Dorval and others with some credibility, leave the sinking ship.

    How could you watch that show night after night, week after week, year after year and maintain your sanity? Today, on the the KBCI website, the “big story” headline is “Woman Allegedly Crashes Car Into Meridian Home.”

    Another classic example of why Ch 2 simply can’t be considered a serious source of “news.” Allegedly? Is there some question about whether she crashed the car through that guys bedroom or not? Is someone promoting the theory that the whole thing was just a dream and didn’t actually happen?

    In the text of the story, it doesn’t say allegedly. The line is – “Police say Schinzler was drunk and drove her car into Phillips’ Meridian house.” The police don’t seem to doubt that this drunk young lady drove her car into a house…I suspect that when the officer first arrived on the scene, he immediately concluded that she had, indeed, driven her car into a house.

    So what does this have to do with Jon Hanian? A lot. Wouldn’t we love to think that at one point, before he totally gave up, he might have questioned the children on the staff about such ridiculous use of language and perhaps even tried to implement some sort of proof-reading system in an effort to avoid such silliness? How would you like to have to fight that battle every day? I think Hanian deserves a high award of some sort for living in that environment for so many years.

    Again, my congratulations to Jon. I think he is the last of the credible people to leave KBCI. So, somebody please turn out the lights.

  10. I echo Logan’s sentiments. I worked with Jon for over 12 years at Channel 2 and knew him as a man of class, dignity, and ethics. The standard he set while there is a credit to his work ethic. Everyone who worked at 2 while Jon was there became better at their jobs. I for one can remember many, many, many long nights building hundreds of graphics for the investigation into the Mayor’s Office. Jon led the way by putting in uncountable hours working on that as did others. Boise media will miss him greatly, and I was kinda holding out hope that he would join us over here at 6. Good luck Jon!

  11. Still have to wonder? Why would he pick Otter. Is it just a money thing? (a man of class, dignity, and ethics?) Strong words for a guy backing a senator that has done nothing for the State.

  12. When does local news become too local??? Perhaps when the ‘top story’ on kbci’s website notes that,

    “Dog Stops Mail Service to Entire Street”…dog bit mail carrier, chased her down street.

    When there is so much else going on? Seriously. I understand and applaude your career move Jon!

  13. I think Jon’s a very talented reporter however I question his use of his talents for a ” local politician” who really has done nothing for the state. When Otter and Risch were offered the ability to appear on PBS, in a debate sponsored by The league OF Women Voters (one of the few remaining really American groups we still have in this country) they refused, prefering to participate in a debate over which they had more control.

    What is Otter really afraid of? perhaps being confronted by his opposing candidate or a citizen and asked some very revealing questions concerning his ties to big business in Idaho instead of to our Citizens. Jon’s devoted to good journalism and delivering it to the People of Idaho. I just think he’s underestimating himself here.

  14. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 18, 2006, 12:31 am

    Sadly, I understand Jon’s desire to leave channel 2. The writing was on the wall after KBCI management refused to cover the night of the Boise mayoral election, as they were unwilling to pay overtime for a reporter and camera crew. The irony of course being that it was an election that most likely would never have occurred had it not been for Jon’s dogged research as KBCI’s investigative reporter.

    However, I must say, his having joined Otter’s campaign leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’d hoped that if he decided to remain local, he’d have moved over to channel 6. The political pundits have argued the strategy of Idaho’s Gubernatorial debate issue up one side and down the other. I myself agree with those that posit that Otter would only loose ground if seen on the Idaho Debates on Idaho Pubic Television. That aside, as a campaign manager, I know it is Jon’s responsibility to see that his candidate keep that rosy polish he is so known for but for the sake of your ethical journalistic precedent, Jon, could you please use your position for good and see that Idahoans have ample opportunity to view Otter in a live debate on Public Television.

    Everybody knows that channel 7 has a wide demographic in the Treasure and Magic Valleys. However, even with channel 7’s claims of broader cable coverage elsewhere, in all reality, Ontario to Twin is where it ends. Eastern and Northern Idaho deserve better. I hope Sinicism hasn’t hardened your belief that the public’s right to the truth should come first. Thanks again for your trustworthy public service.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: