KnightNews.com gave UCF Student Government Association President Mike Kilbride plenty of chances to explain his lavish spending on camera, but he refused. Now, he’s dodging the same questions from Central Florida’s major broadcast news operations.
Media Firestorm over Kilbride’s Spending:
WFTV Channel 9 | Fox 35 news at 6 & 10 | WKMG Local 6 | Orlando Sentinel
It took just a day or two after KnightNews.com chief investigative reporter Logan Herlihy broke how Kilbride spent nearly $8,000 to buy a fancy desk in the SGA office before Fox 35 news launched its own investigation, making it their 6 p.m. lead story Thursday night. That time slot is often reserved for the most major, important news of the day.
From there, a quick version of the story was picked up by WFTV Channel 9’s Mark Boyle during the Orlando ABC-affiliate’s 6 p.m. news, followed by Boyle’s full investigation at 10 and 11 p.m. on Eyewitness News. Boyle also uncovered how Kilbride spent nearly $6,000 on iPads, $6,000 for a computing system to collect feedback from students and another $500 font for the computer.
Channel 9 got straight to the point when their anchors set up the story.
“The University of Central Florida student body president is under fire again, accused of misusing his $15 million annual budget,” anchor Martie Salt said.
“Tonight we found out Michael Kilbride bought an $8,000 desk, and that’s not all!” anchor Bob Opsahl said. He then tossed to Boyle in the field by saying, “Mark, students are fed up with his spending.”
“Bob, they’re over it,” Boyle said in his live report. “Most of them say they’re frustrated.” He went on to say students told him “the student body president is on a spending spree, and it’s got to stop!”
Fox 35 followed up on the desk story during their 10 p.m. news by inviting KnightNews.com’s Logan Herlihy into their studios to provide in analysis of the situation to anchor Bob Frier.
During the interview, Frier said, “I’ve been watching some of your reporter on Knight News — and folks can go there and watch some of your reports. You never have gotten your interview with (Kilbride). Have you gotten it since.”
Herlihy then let Frier know Kilbride has continued refusing to be interviewed about the desk.
“Well, good reporting,” Frier told Herlihy, “and I’m going to assume there’s going to be a little bit of an audit going on with Mr. Kilbride’s expenditures.”
See CFO & Gubernatorial Candidate Alex Sink Speak Out on Desk
This morning the Orlando Sentinel was reporting about the spending spree along with WKMG Local 6 news.
Kilbride refused to talk to Channel 9 and Fox 35 on camera, the stations reported.
Our original video report exposing the desk controversy:
See pictures of both desks on the next page below: