WISH news director and chief meteorologist Steve Bray is leaving the Indianapolis CW affiliate next month, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports.
“It’s not clear if Bray is stepping down or was terminated, but sources familiar with the situation said he has agreed to stay at WISH through the critical television ratings sweeps period, which concludes May 20,” writes the IBJ.
Neither WISH nor Bray got back to the IBJ to confirm the news. Bray didn’t get back to us either last week, when we asked if initial reports by FTVLive were true.
Bray has steered WISH through a tumultuous time. Last August, CBS announced it would end its 58-year affiliation with WISH and move it to WTTV-TV Channel 4. That change happened Jan. 1.
In the wake of that announcement, WISH expanded its local news programming by 20 hours a week—to a total of 56 hours—and early this year became a CW Television Network affiliate.
Also in the wake of the affiliation change, WISH lost a number of high-profile employees, including traffic reporter Julie Patterson, meteorologist Pamela Gardner, chief investigative reporter Karen Hensel, anchor and reporter Daniel Miller, and reporter Jessica Hayes.
The man who promoted Bray to news director, Jeff White, was fired as president and general manager of WISH and sister station WNDY-TV channel 23 in May 2014. White, who had managed WISH for 11 years, was replaced by industry veteran Les Vann.
Sources close to WISH said Bray has been under increasing pressure to maintain the station’s local news audience despite not having major network shows to bring in viewers and serve as a platform to promote local programming.
One industry insider who has talked to Bray this week about the departure said Bray would be “taking some time to decompress and determine his next move.”
Bray joined WISH as a meteorologist in January 1995 and was promoted to chief meteorologist in 1999. In 2009, he was named news and weather operations manager. He became WISH’s assistant news director in 2011 and, in late 2012, was named WISH’s news director while retaining the title of chief meteorologist. Bray ascended to news director following the August 2012 ouster of WISH news director Patti McGettigan.