by Laura Nachman
July 6, 2006
(This was submitted too late for the print edition of the BCCT).
According to newsroom sources, NBC10 and WB17 news anchor Vince DeMentri was suspended by station management after an altercation with weather anchors Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz and Doug Kammerer over a story about last week’s floods.
Sources say the fight was over a report DeMentri filed Thursday from a flooded area where the water was almost up to his waist. After the report, Schwartz made an on-air remark that it was unsafe to be in water that deep. When DeMentri later returned to the studio, witnesses say he screamed at and physically threatened Schwartz, whom he felt embarrassed him on the air. When Kammerer intervened, DeMentri then threatened him.
On Friday, management met with DeMentri and sent him home, according to newsroom sources. He did not anchor the NBC10 5 p.m. news or the WB17 10 p.m. news that night.
DeMentri, a Philadelphia native, joined NBC10 three years ago. While working as a reporter in New York City, he was arrested for impersonating a federal agent while covering the World Trade Center bombings in 2001.
This isn’t the first time NBC10 employees have clashed. Last year, reporter Monique Braxton was suspended for bad-mouthing colleague Harry Hairston. A few years ago, former NBC10 personalities Sharon Reed and Alicia Taylor got into a war of words over the internet.
DeMentri and Kammerer did not return phone calls. Schwartz, who is on vacation this week, also could not be reached for comment.