WISH-TV Channel 8 General Manager Jeff White said the dismissal of field reporter Brad Edwards was not part of a bigger staff downsizing.
Despite rumors swirling about WISH in media circles, White said there have been no other terminations at the station. “This is an isolated incident,” he said.
At least one industry website said morning anchor Joy Dumandan was on the way out at WISH, but White said that report was incorrect.
Dumandan, an anchor with WISH since 2001, has been on vacation but is still with the station, White said.
Edwards told trade website TVSpy last week “My dismissal is as mundane as money,” adding that his three-year contract was terminated with more than a year remaining on it due to his salary.
Edwards told TVSpy there are many details he won’t reveal “because there are many at an ever-leaner WISH TV I hold dear.”
Edwards could not be reached by IBJ for comment.
“I can confirm that Brad was let go, but it wasn’t done for financial reasons,” White said. “We are actively looking to replace Brad and are looking forward to adding to our staff.”
White wouldn’t elaborate on why Edwards was fired, but added that WISH will add two new reporter positions to its staff in addition to Edward’s replacement. White said there is no timetable to replace Edwards, but said the search is already underway.
White also cited WISH’s extensive plans to cover the upcoming Super Bowl in Indianapolis by using indoor and outdoor on-location studios near Lucas Oil Stadium as proof the station was not scrimping financially.
“We remain committed to growing our news programming,” White said. “We feel the move we’ve made will be best for our station and our viewers.”
Before coming to WISH, Edwards, a Grand Rapids, Mich., native and Michigan State University graduate, worked as a field reporter and fill-in anchor for WJBK-TV Channel 2, Detroit’s Fox affiliate.
Before coming to WJBK, Edwards did stints at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich. He won six local Emmy Awards for his stories.
Edwards appeared primarily during late-afternoon and evening newscasts for WISH, handling a variety of field and investigative reports for the Indianapolis station, a CBS affiliate owned by Rhode Island-based Lin Television Corp.
For the last several years, WISH has been battling WTHR-TV Channel 13, an NBC affiliate, for local TV news supremacy. More recently, WXIN-TV Channel 59, a Fox affiliate, has joined the battle by beefing up its newscast schedule.