KRON-4’s owners are behaving badly, it seems.
Not only is Stanley Roberts of “People Behaving Badly” fame leaving San Francisco for Phoenix, AZ, but YouTube has erased his TV segments from its website at the behest of his former bosses.
Nexstar Media Group, who owns KRON-4, were recently awarded the People Behaving Badly trademark out from under Roberts’ nose. Google took down his videos after a complaint from Nexstar, which was confirmed in a YouTube copyright notice.
“Two days before my last day (at KRON-4) I was called into the office,” Roberts told me, to talk to Chris McDonnell, KRON-4’s vice president and general manager. “I was told to turn over my YouTube account to them because I have something close to 89,000 subscribers.”
Roberts wasn’t having it.
“It’s my personal YouTube page,” he told them. “That’s not going to happen.”
But Roberts did agree to delete old KRON-4 videos from his YouTube page sometime before starting at his new job at a Phoenix TV station. Roberts told me that was difficult to do right away — the only computer he’s recently owned was a laptop provided by KRON-4, which he’d already returned to the station. Apparently, he said, KRON-4 was “impatient.”
Now a click to his YouTube page simply reads, “This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.”
Deleting Roberts’ YouTube page is a big blow to the TV journo, as he was counting on taking that following with him to Phoenix. His YouTube page also had personal videos of his daughters, he told me, videos he intended to save. And though KRON-4 has some of his TV segments uploaded to YouTube on its website, it lost a portion of them when it upgraded servers recently.
So some of Roberts’ “People Behaving Badly” segments will be lost permanently.
“This is a major impact,” he told me.
Roberts is also fighting the trademark dispute with Nexstar. Roberts owns the copyright, according to our sister news outlet SF Weekly, but as U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records reveal, Nexstar was awarded the trademark in July this year, on the cusp of Roberts’ exit.
That trademark battle took place as Roberts was negotiating his salary with KRON-4. On air Aug. 21, Roberts told the Bay Area he was leaving our foggy shores due to that trademark dispute.
“I want to make this perfectly clear,” he said to KRON-4 TV anchors, live. “I probably would’ve stayed in the Bay Area, but if Nextstar and KRON hadn’t stole my trademark, I’d probably still be here.”
KRON did not respond to requests for comment.