A Rhode Island local television reporter was fired for showing off during a lighthearted piece on auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”
Julie Tremmel, 36, was on air for WJAR-TV when she decided to perform a handstand. Days later, she was fired.
“I was terminated without cause from WJAR and my Union and I are fighting it through the grievance and arbitration process in our Contract with the Station [sic],” Tremmel wrote to GoLocalProv in an email.
Tremmel first became the center of media attention last year when she did a piece on how to survive a bear attack. The report went viral and made her rise to Internet fame. The how-to viral report was covered by outlets such as the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and was even featured on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.
The piece was popular with the public, but not with some of the station’s senior staff.
Jim Taricani, WJAR’s veteran investigative reporter, called the bear piece a “smudge on our station’s reputation.”
“… Some TV reporters like to draw attention to themselves… its an insult to most of us trying to be professional,” Taricani wrote on Facebook.
But Tremmel has garnered online support. A “Support News Reporter Julie Tremmel” Facebook page has 362 "likes" so far, and an online “Bring Julie Tremmel Back to NBC 10” petition so far has 272 signatures.
“I don’t see how, if you’re doing a story on ‘America’s Got Talent’ auditions, that this is out of line,” wrote a supporter on Facebook.
Others have argued Tremmel appeals to a younger audience.
“Bring her back, she was a spice of life to your aging news cast,” wrote another supporter on the petition’s web page. "You need to bring in the younger generation and get some spice because they are going to turn to Internet and your older audience is going to die off. Was no need to let her go about the humor she brings to wjar [sic]."
Sources: Facebook, iPetitions, Go Local Prov News