Former KTVU anchor Frank Somerville is not returning to the Oakland Fox owned station after 31 years there.
Somerville posted the news that his contract would not be renewed on Facebook and also said that he is hoping to get another job in TV news.
“They’re not re-signing me. So I am done at Channel 2,” Somerville told the Bay Area News Group. “I’ve given my heart and soul to Channel 2. I would give anything to work there. For whatever reason, they decided not to re-sign me.”
It’s been a tumultuous year for Somerville. In May 2021, he was taken off air after an erratic newscast where he stumbled through the stories and appeared to be slurring his words.
In September, he was suspended after questioning the level of media coverage devoted to the Gabby Petito murder case. Petito, a young white woman and social media influencer, was murdered by her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.
SFGate said news director Amber Eikel told Somerville his addition to a story about the Petito case—linking it to domestic violence before any suspects were convicted—was “inappropriate” and that she questioned Somerville’s news judgement.
Somerville still faces two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood level alcohol concentration of .08 or more, along with an enhancement for having a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds .15 after a crash in December.
The San Francisco Chronicle said Somerville was driving a 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo when he rear-ended a silver Audi. When the driver of the Audi got out of his car after the crash, Somerville allegedly kept driving, pushing the Audi through the intersection until it collided with a pole at the southwest corner.
He told BNG that the DUI arrest “had nothing to do with” his contract not being renewed. He said the station told him he was out “long before that.”
BNG also said that two rallies have been held outside KTVU in Jack London Square in October to bring attention to his “reported desire to address disparities in media coverage of White crime victims like Petito versus women of color. The City of San Leandro also issued an official proclamation honoring him ‘for speaking out about missing women of color and setting an example of strength and equity to our community and those worldwide.'”