Ex-WDIV reporter Kevin Dietz, who was fired from the station last July, is returning to television news next week.
Dietz starts his new gig Tuesday on WADL (Channel 38) in a broadcast called "News Now with Kevin Dietz." Neal Rubin of The Detroit News describes the show as innovative.
Even Dietz says he doesn't fully know how it will work.
The basic idea is that Dietz will focus each weeknight on two or three stories in a 30-minute program with live interviews.
“We’ll have the ability to do call-ins, just like radio,” said Dietz, who will continue as a fill-in host on WJR (760 AM). “I’d love to tell you exactly what it’s going to be, but we don’t know yet.”
The TV station is owned by Kevin Adell, who also operates the religious program "Word Network" and talk station WFDF (910 AM). The radio station has a long history of scores of on-air personalities quitting or getting fired.
Adell tells The News he'll share revenues with Dietz.
Dietz got the axe at WDIV in July after a spontaneous joke at a conference in Houston about cropping a black reporter from a photo — a one-liner he said was intended to highlight the challenge of recruiting a diverse staff.
At the time of the firing, Dietz issued a statement:
The intent of my comment was to openly acknowledge, amongst team members, the challenge it’s been for our company, and many companies, to achieve diversity goals. This is a serious subject that I approached through humor. Nevertheless, the station has a zero tolerance policy on racially insensitive comments and they determined, despite the intent and context of my statement, that it violated the policy. I understand and support the need for such policies.
The African American reporter in the photo was not offended, there was no “caught on camera” situation, no social media controversy, and no complaints of any kind about the comment at the time. Still the comment made it back to the water cooler conversation at WDIV the following week and quickly took on a life of its own. The African American reporter went to human resources to defend me. He expressed that we are friends, conveyed to them all the help I have given him throughout his career, and the long list of stories I have done on television fighting against racism in Michigan.
The News also reports that WKBD will become one of three CBS-owned CW stations to launch low-budget 10 p.m. newscasts this election year.