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Minshall v. McGraw Hill Broadcasting Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
323 F.3d 1273 (2003)
David Minshall (plaintiff) worked as an on-air reporter for the Denver news station KMGH, which was owned by McGraw Hill Broadcasting Company (McGraw Hill) (defendant). Minshall worked from 1980 until his contract was not renewed in 1997. Minshall was 50 years old at the time. Prior to Minshall’s termination, KMGH hired a new news director, Melissa Klinzing. Klinzing brought with her an objective for the news program to reach a younger audience. Klinzing revitalized the aesthetics of the program and removed several on-air presenters over the age of 40 from their positions. In August 1996, Minshall’s contract was set to expire. Klinzing gave Minshall a six-month renewal but noted in writing that he needed to increase his performance up to expected levels to receive a renewal at the end of the term. Specifically, Klinzing pointed to Minshall having a public drunkenness incident two years prior, unethically revealing the identity of an anonymous source, and repeatedly turning in assignments late. During the six-month period, McGraw Hill claimed that Minshall missed morning meetings, failed to suggest new story ideas, and barely met deadlines for assignments. Ultimately, Minshall’s contract was not renewed at the end of the six months, and he filed suit for age discrimination. A jury returned a verdict in favor of Minshall. McGraw Hill moved for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) because Minshall failed to produce sufficient evidence that he was discriminated against based on age. The trial court denied the motion, and McGraw Hill appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, J.)
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