Mike Schuh, a veteran of 27 years at CBS-owned WJZ-TV, said he was told that Friday will be his last day at the station. The award-winning journalist said he had been working without a contract since the end of April and that contracts like his were not being renewed amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email, Audra Swain, general manager of WJZ, referred me to a statement from CBS when I asked for confirmation and whether other WJZ employees besides Schuh were affected.
“We are restructuring various operations at CBS as part of our ongoing integration with Viacom, and to adapt to changes in our business, including those related to COVID-19," the statement said. “Our thoughts today are with our departing colleagues for their friendship, service and many important contributions to CBS."
Schuh has won 12 regional Emmy Awards, three AP awards and a regional Edward R. Murrow award for his work at the station.
“I am proud of the work I do and have done, and the people I’ve worked with,” Schuh said Wednesday.
Referring to WJZ, he said, “They have treated me well. It’s been a good run."
Wednesday night, former WJZ reporter Richard Sher reported on his Facebook page that another veteran reporter, Pat Warren, who joined the station in 1992, was also out at WJZ.
Earlier in the day, Swain did not answer questions asking whether there were other people at the station beyond Schuh affected by the CBS moves. She did not immediately respond late Wednesday to an email asking specifically about Warren.
“The page you are looking for no longer exists” messages came up for station pages for Warren and Schuh on Wednesday night.
Deadline reported that layoffs started Tuesday and continued Wednesday in the news and entertainment divisions of CBS in the wake of its merger with Viacom.
David Zurawik is The Sun’s media critic. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @davidzurawik.