Channel 4 News Director Joe Schlaerth is no longer working at the station, multiple sources inside the CBS affiliate have confirmed.
His departure – all the sources say he was fired Wednesday morning – is no surprise considering how unpopular he has been inside the news department.
Indeed, it was more surprising that he lasted this long running the news department of the LIN station.
About a year ago when Rene LaSpina was named as Channel 4’s new general manager, I wrote that “her biggest decision concerns the status of Schlaerth. LIN was told how unpopular he is when it conducted focus groups about the station’s management several months ago. The station’s improved demographics in May may help Schlaerth.”
LaSpina appparently decided to give Schlaerth a year to illustrate he should stay on the job and possibly improve his management skills and the station’s ratings.
The same demographics that helped him a year ago may have done him in a year later, as Channel 2 dominated in the key categories that advertisers are looking for this past May.
LaSpina could not be immediately reached to comment. I’m told that she told the staff that Schlaerth had been “removed” rather than use the word fired.
In an attempt to contact Schlaerth in the news department, I was told that he no longer works at the station.
According to sources, the new interim news director is Peter Jacobus, who most recently worked as a news director in Colorado Springs.