Magazine article Personnel Journal

HR Professionals React to the O.J. Verdicts

Magazine article Personnel Journal

HR Professionals React to the O.J. Verdicts

Article excerpt

AN AUDIBLE GASP COULD BE HEARD THROUGHOUT THE United States on October 3 as people paused to learn the verdicts in the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial.

According to research by ABC and CBS, approximately 150 million people watched live coverage of the event, which attracted more viewers than JFK's funeral or the Apollo 13 landing on the moon. The networks estimate that 100 million people watched in offices and locations outside their homes.

As far as TV-watching goes, Mike Ross can't remember another time when employees felt so compelled to tune in. According to Ross, vice president of HR for Hamilton Dorsey Alston, an 82-person insurance firm in Atlanta, nearly everyone in the company was glued to TV sets in the break room and the gym. "Some people even went home at lunchtime to see it," he says.

Employees at FKW Inc., a governmentservice contractor in Oklahoma City, were equally attentive. Mary Whitson, HR manager, says: "The verdicts had a major effect on our work force. People are still talking about it. …

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