EXCLUSIVE — Wayward Hayward: WSVN Fixture Calls it Quits!

South Florida TV news veteran Derek Hayward, a star at WSVN-Channel 7 since 1991, resigned his job suddenly last night, Gossip Extra has learned.

Derek Hayward (WSVN photo)

Derek Hayward (WSVN photo)

It’s the end of an era at the Fox affiliate.

But the divorced father of two, 62, says he felt it was time for a life change.

“I’m at that point when I need a change in my life,” Hayward told Gossip Extra. “The timing is right.”

Known for his English accent and flamboyant Fleet Street-style delivery, Hayward says he’ll miss the biz, and his buds at the station.

Hayward was hired soon after WSVN lost its affiliation with NBC, and at a time when it was changing to a if-it-bleeds-it-leads news format. He eventually became the newsroom’s highest paid reporter.

“I leave with absolutely nothing but the highest regard for WSVN,” he said. “They’ve treated me wonderfully in the course of the past two decades.”

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He declined to comment further but added that WSVN management knew for several weeks he was pondering his future.

While sources in TV land told me Hayward reached out to other stations after difficult contract negotiations at Channel 7, he told friends it’s unlikely he’ll remain on the tube.

Hayward, who lives in Margate, told Gossip Extra sources he’s working on a novel about the local television market. He also wants to spend more time working for his pet charity.

Hayward’s a volunteer trainer at Tomorrow’s Rainbow, a Coconut Creek non-profit that uses interaction with horses to help children cope with the loss of a parent.

WSVN, whose publicist had no comment about losing one of the station’s most recognizable faces, used Hayward on dozens of national stories.

He covered the Michael Jackson pedophilia trial and L.A. riots, countless hurricanes, strife in Haiti and the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

His documentary about lenient sentencing in Florida in the 1990s, Justice: Just Bluffing, is on permanent display at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City.

Check out the video of Hayward’s coverage of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, in which he compares Homestead to “Downtown Beirut:”

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  1. harry says

    just hope he slows down on his drinking!!!!!!!!!!! AA group would be his best bet. Alcohol has taken a toll on this nice man.

  2. Jennie says

    A real credit to the industry. Great writer and storyteller, a stickler for the facts. And nice to boot. He will be missed.

  3. FLavah says

    He will have an easy time writing his book, since most of the stories will be about his ex-wife who now works at CBS in Miami as a writer. Stories of her cheating on Derek have become quite legendary and entertaining. Derek might’ve been a good reporter, but he was insulting, rude, boorish and antagonistic to all the PIOs and reporters (esp. the females) in the field. Jose why was your site down for so long? We almost called the FHP to file a ‘missing person’s’ report so they could launch a search on I-95 on your behalf.

    • Jose Lambiet says

      Thanks Flavah, but no need to call the cops. We’ve been having horrible technical difficulties with a plug ins but it’s being fixed. BTW, we’re redesigning the site. You’ll love the new look in a couple weeks.

  4. says

    I’ve never met him or heard anything bad about him. But, Man, I really enjoyed watching him since the start in 1991! With today’s budget reality in the bizz, it’s tough to make a good living. Even if you’re a big part of the reason the ratings are up. It could have been worse, I guess, you could have worked at CH-4 and have been a member of what we used to call the “30-30 Club”. Under thirty years old and under $30K per year. Seven’s “Publicist” should be the next one fired. There’s a real professional. Just say they parted company on good term. After all, you’re hired to LIE!!!! (grin) Best of luck to Derek Hayward, he’ll be at the networks in no time. Cheers, Pat http://www.appleson.com