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October 9, 2003
Diva alert

Ever wonder what it takes to get someone fired? If you're Deborah Norville, not much, although it's not clear if she actually initiated the termination.

Last week, [Norville] was in town and had to stop by the KTVT-Channel 11 Dallas studios to do a live spot at 2 p.m. For the past year, Richard Daniels, 72, has been the front desk security guard in Dallas. At about 1:45, he looked into his monitor and saw Norville hurriedly approaching, assistant in tow. Daniels went to meet Norville--whom he did not recognize--at the door, which stays locked. According to Daniels and another Channel 11 employee who witnessed the following, Daniels began to say, "May I help you?" At this point, they say Norville--lessee, how would Inside Edition put this?--[deep baritone] they say Deborah Norville began acting more like Diva Norville.

"I'm Deborah Norville!" Daniels said she screamed. "I'm late!"

According to Daniels and the other witness, Daniels looked shocked but allowed her to storm in. A news producer, who says she only saw the end of the incident but says Norville was loudly announcing her name, hurriedly rushed Norville back to the office of Steve Mauldin, president and general manager of Channel 11 and UPN Channel 21.

Daniels says he was fired for this, although station management has a different -- and unusual -- take on the situation:

Mauldin acknowledges the call was made to get rid of Daniels because of the Norville incident but says it was because Daniels was often rude to outsiders entering the studio. He intimated that Daniels took his security role too seriously. "It's not like people are trying to break down the door to get into our station," Mauldin says.

Yeah, in the post-9/11 world, be careful that you take security too seriously, especially at a public broadcast center, because we know that nuts and terrorists wouldn't be interested in attacking those. Sounds to me like the wrong person got fired. (via Romanesko)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 9, 2003 10:53 AM

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