News Anchor Loses Job to Sportscaster After Hurricane With AM-Hurricane-Railroad, Bjt
MIAMI (AP) _ A television news anchor who left work to be with his family as Hurricane Andrew approached has lost his job to the sportscaster who filled in for him.
But officials at WTVJ said Tom Randles wasn’t penalized for choosing to be with his family the night of the storm. They say sportscaster Tony Segreto did such a great job in Randles’ absence that he earned the anchor position.
″A lot people had concerns about family,″ said executive producer Bill Burke. ″The notion that is the reason we made this change is incorrect.″
Segreto, who ventured into news only nine months ago as anchor of the station’s 4 News Now at 5 p.m., now becomes an anchor on three newscasts, sharing duties at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. with Kelly Craig.
Randles became lead male anchor in July 1990, signing a three-year, six- figure contract. He was the first black anchor at Channel 4, south Florida’s oldest station, and only the second in the market.
Channel 4 news director Sharon Scott said the station is continuing to pay Randles, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. He was not at the television station and his home number is unpublished.
WTVJ General Manager Dick Lobo said he had posted a memo before the storm saying staff members could go home if they feared for their safety.
″The moment was seized by Segreto, who was there in the bunker at this critical time,″ Lobo said.
Scott said Randles would not be held to his contract. She said he ″deserves to be a main anchor somewhere.″
The station also promised an expanded news role for weatherman Bryan Norcross, who became a hero during the storm.
″Bryan has a lot of desires, and we’ll try to meet them,″ Scott said. ″We’re still defining his role. It will be an anchor role, and he will do weather.″