Wichita ABC affiliate KAKE is facing a wave of viewer wrath after allegedly firing reporter Jared Cerullo.
One viewer commented, “Your ridiculous decision to fire Jared Cerullo, when he apologized right away & rectified his mistake, just lost you a loyal viewer. I’ve watched KAKE news for as long as I can remember. Shame on you.”
While General manager Dan Wall confirmed with TVSpy that Cerullo was no longer with the station, he would not comment on why Cerullo was no longer there. Viewers are saying he was fired because of a mistake he made while reporting a local murder case.
Tuesday, Cerullo was reporting live during the station’s 11:00am news. During the report, Cerullo said defendant Eric Jackson had switched his plea to “guilty” when in fact he had waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Later in the newscast, Cerullo corrected his report telling viewers, “I did say earlier, I do need to make a correction. I did say earlier that he pleaded guilty. That was inaccurate. He waived his preliminary hearing and has decided, instead, to go straight to trial for murder and conspiracy.”
Somehow word got out to viewers Cerullo was no longer at the station. They took to the station’s facebook page.
“YOU FIRED JARED? YOU JUST LOST A VIEWER!! KWCH HERE I COME….”
“If you really want to make them feel the heat of this decision you need to start contacting their sponsors and advertisers and letting them know that you will not do business with them as long as they sponsor or advertise with KAKE. KAKE is a business as are those that sponsor and advertise with them. Using your wallet and hard earned dollar to do the talking for you is how you make your point.”
“…at least be honest with him and the rest of us the REAL reason for you letting him go. This making one mistake is ludicrous, to say the least!!”
Fans also set up a facebook page titled “Jared Cerullo Free Agent.” The keepers of the page wrote a disclaimer saying while Cerullo doesn’t manage the page, “Jared has been consulted and he does approve of its existence and purpose.” As of this writing, the page has 2,037 likes.
Wall would not comment on how the station planned to address the facebook comments.