WNEM anchor Frank Turner said he’s out at the Saginaw, Mich. CBS affiliate after not wanting to “share the studio unmasked with other colleagues.”
But in a statement sent to TVSpy, WNEM and Meredith said the former anchor was never terminated.
“WNEM denies Mr. Turner’s account of the situation and confirms that it did not terminate Mr. Turner,” said the station, which detailed its Covid-19 policies, including requiring employees to mask up in common areas and when six feet of distance isn’t possible. “We have positioned on-air talent in our television studios to be at least six feet apart.”
In a Facebook post, which has since been taken down, Turner said he “was unceremoniously let go” and that he “had no idea that today’s noon broadcast would be my last at WNEMTV5news.”
Turner had worked at WNEM since 2016. Before that, the anchor had shared his struggles with drugs and alcohol while working at Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ, which he left in 2006 to pursue the ministry.
Meredith will begin requiring vaccinations in the newsroom starting next Friday.
“In line with CDC guidance, starting September 17, we require that anyone entering a Meredith worksite be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or protected category exemption,” the station said in a statement. “Local Media Group/television station employees who were not vaccinated had until August 20 to receive their first shot or request a medical or protected category exemption. Meredith and WNEM believe vaccination is the best way to protect our employees and communities. Our policies continue to be based on federal, state, and local guidance and have been developed with medical and legal consultation.”