Welcome to Detroit – you’re fired


Just a few days ago WADL-TV (Ind.) Detroit announced that it had hired former WOIO-TV (CBS) Cleveland journalist Matt Stevens as its News Director. But when he showed up for his first day of work he was dismissed and escorted from the building.

WADL issued two press releases in recent days regarding the ousters of consultant Kevin O’Brien and then Stevens.

First the station terminated its connection to O’Brien:

“WADL- TV38 CEO and Owner Kevin Adell Terminates Kevin O’Brien for Violation of Numerous Corporate Policies

Feb. 22, 2012 — WADL TV-38 Detroit announces that Kevin O’Brien, who has served as consultant for the past two months, has been terminated. WADL TV-38 Detroit cited violation of numerous corporate policies.

Prior to O’Brien’s termination, CEO Kevin Adell instructed Rich Mazzari, a retired FBI agent, to conduct a thorough investigation. Upon review of Mazzari’s findings, Adell determined O’Brien’s termination be immediately effective.

Adell issued the following statement: ‘I am deeply saddened that in this day and age this type of behavior still exists. I have zero tolerance for this, and I will personally disgorge any money paid to Mr. O’Brien as a consultant for the past two months’.”

That was followed by this announcement:

“ADL Detroit Disgorges Remnants of Kevin O’ Brien

Feb. 27, 2012  — On his first day of work, Matt Stevens was met by WADL TV Detroit Security Chief former FBI Officer Rich Mazzari.  Stevens was informed that per direct instructions from CEO Kevin Adell, his services would no longer be needed at WADL TV Detroit. Stevens was escorted from the station property by security.

Matt Stevens was personally selected by Kevin O’Brien to serve as the station’s News Director. O’Brien was terminated on February 23rd by CEO Kevin Adell for inappropriate conduct.”

Just what was going on remains a mystery. But it’s a good bet that lawyers will become involved.