WEST PALM BEACH — Dying CBS12 is still the one to turn to, if you want to see reporters and anchors running out-of-town!
News anchor Michele Wright, one of the only black featured TV personalities in the West Palm Beach/Treasure Coast market and a hottie to boot, is the latest casualty over at West Palm Beach‘s WPEC.
A memo was sent this morning to the station’s staff informing them that Wright, as web editor Gerry Marcello, quietly got the boot over the weekend. (For once, the staff won’t have to learn about the latest departure on Gossip Extra)
Our sources at the station tell us the bosses called Wright in on Sunday and told her they no longer needed her services. We’re told the two layoffs are likely connected with lower-than-expected ratings.
Wright’s profile was erased from CBS12.com by Sunday afternoon, an unusually quick move.
A former Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleader, Wright joined CBS12 in 2010 as the morning traffic anchor.
By the time she was laid off, Wright was doing six broadcasts a day both on CBS12 and CW34-WTVX, which contracted CBS12 to do its newscasts.
According to the cached version of CBS12’s site, Wright “daily anchors CBS12 News at 10 p.m. on the CW34. She also co-anchors the 3:00 p.m. newscast and serves at the CBS12 lead fill-in and breaking news anchor for the 5 p.m., 5:30, 6:00 and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts.”
A quick look at the math shows she was clocking some serious overtime everyday!
And if she didn’t, she should sue.
Wright had to come in at 2 p.m. everyday to start her shift and wouldn’t be able to leave until around midnight.
It’s an odd choice for the new station bosses to keep tossing out the experienced, familiar faces only to bring in inexperienced, cheap replacements without much of a local following. Obviously, that’s losing viewers.
No word if Wright will even be replaced, or if the existing anchors will just have to absorb her workload. (Ever heard Liz Quirantes whine?)
Before she was at CBS12, the native Floridian Wright worked in Orlando at Orange & Vision Television and Jacksonville.
She’s a Florida State University alum who also used to be an NFL cheerleader with the Jaguars.
Wright joins a crowded club of recent CBS12 departures: Reporter Kathleen Walter left to become the spokesman for the City of West Palm Beach and former reporter Israel Balderas is now a teacher. Weathergirl Karen Jaromin left a few weeks ago, and her husband, weatherman Steve Glazier, quit his job on Friday.
In just over a year Lauren Hills, Mary Quinn O’Connor and Ben Becker have split as well.
An increasing number of viewers have stopped watching corporate TV stations like CBS12, preferring commercial-free cable and/or web streaming.
Here’s the memo that was sent out this morning: