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Article: WHTM looking within for Wagner sucessor


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WHTM looking within for Wagner successor

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Someone on the news staff at WHTM-TV Channel 27 will soon be named the station's heir to Rick Wagner.


Who that is and when the person will be revealed is a mystery.


"It will be someone from within," said Joe Lewin, WHTM's president and general manager. "We're getting close, but we're not ready to make the announcement yet."


Now that the November ratings "sweeps" are over, newsroom sources say that decision could be made within the next couple of days.


As you might recall, WHTM announced Oct. 23 that after more than two decades with the station, Wagner left to "pursue new career opportunities."


Wagner's last newscast was Oct. 6.


Soon after, the rumor mill began churning out word that he and WHTM had split. With no official word, his whereabouts became a frequent topic of Internet chatter and talk-radio discussion.


Since then, Wagner has said nothing and the station only slightly more, after releasing a brief statement thanking him for his years of service and wishing him luck.


Many on the staff are still unaware of what happened.


The information blackout has not diminished the speculation about why Wagner is no longer an anchor at WHTM.


Theories have included Wagner's leaving because of a health issue or personal problem, an unresolvable contract dispute with station management, that he was forced out in a vicious round of office politics and that he received failing marks from a consultant hired by WHTM to evaluate its newscasts.


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Interesting that they would look within. If I had to bet on who the sucessor would be, it would be Dennis Owens. He is a good anchor who has quite a following in this community.




-- Matt

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