It must be fun working for a company that would kick you out in the cold four days before Christmas.
That's what Journal Broadcasting did on Thursday, when it announced that it wouldn't be renewing the contracts of KMTV anchors Deb Ward and Greg Peterson.
While the station has been lagging in the ratings, much of that can be attributed to years of financial neglect by its previous owners. Emmis, which sold the station to Journal, even went so far as to remove the 6 p.m. newscast from the schedule.
But apparently, Journal either expected its switch to the "Action 3 News" format to miraculously turn things around, or it blamed Ward and Peterson for the station's low performance. Who knows?
It's unfortunate that these two were chosen to take the fall. While Ward has never been our favorite anchor, she has been a steady presence at the station for over two decades and deserved better.
Peterson's departure is even more lamentable. Both he and KETV's Rob McCartney put WOWT's straw-headed straw man John Knicely to shame. Peterson is a class act who will land on his feet, but if the suits at Channel 6 had a clue (and they clearly don't), they'd hire Peterson, wait out any non-compete clause, and put him in Knicely's place at the earliest possible moment.
The most idiotic aspect of this entire exercise at Channel 3rd, however, is the fact that GM Steve Wexler is still nursing his company's hard-on for bloated, nasal-voiced, viewer-repelling sports director Travis Justice.
Wexler is quoted in Sean Weide's Reader Media Notes as saying that there is no plan to change sports anchors.
If one were looking to fix problems at the station, Justice's would seem to be the first head to be placed on the chopping block. Why Journal is choosing to keep that tool on the air is just plain baffling.
Finally, and just as baffling, is why anyone in management would do this to people the Friday before Christmas. Would it have killed 'em to wait a week or two? Or would it have cost a few extra bucks? It was a tacky move by a station that doesn't need any help looking tacky.
Good luck, Greg and Deb. Merry Christmas.