WDIV Makes It Official: Bernie Smilovitz, Rod Meloni, Paula Tutman and Mara MacDonald Leaving in July

May 28, 2024, 3:24 PM by  Allan Lengel

Smilovitz, MacDonald, Meloni, Tutman

WDIV issued an official announcement on Tuesday that on-air talent Bernie Smilovitz, Rod Meloni, Paula Tutman and Mara MacDonald are leaving the station in early July. The group took a voluntary buyout, as did a  number of behind-the-scenes employees.

Deadline Detroit first reported on May 14 that Smilovitz, Meloni and MacDonald were taking buyouts. On Tueday, the station disclosed that veteran reporter Paula Tutman was also taking one. 

Bob Ellis, vice president and general manager of WDIV issued a statement via a mass email: 

Last March we offered a small group of long tenured employees a voluntary retirement incentive program. It was a package that helped bridge the gap between now and retirement for people who were near or at that time in their life. People who’ve been here a long time. Some of that group said yes.

Why did we do it?

At our company, we deeply value the hard work and loyalty of our employees. We work hard to create an exceptional workplace that attracts and retains top talent. We had a unique opportunity to reward a group of long-serving individuals who have been instrumental in building our station’s success over the years. And while its bittersweet to see these friends and colleagues depart, it reflects our commitment to recognizing and appreciating our employees, which is a key reason we consistently attract and retain exceptional people.

You might have heard from someone or read a comment on social media that these people were pushed out. That’s just not true. But don’t take my word for it, read a snippet of an email Paula Tutman wrote me after making her decision:

"After a lot of consideration and soul searching, I am happily accepting the offer. I already miss the people I haven’t met and the stories I still want to tell about our wonderful State and its people.   I am also incredibly appreciative that my employer thought enough of me to forgo the gold watch and give me something truly generous and useful—a great start to an early retirement.  They didn’t have to do it, yet they did.   Lots of organizations in our industry are just slashing jobs and salaries in this changing climate.  That’s not what happened here.  I can only speak for myself—I am being treated well and am excited to travel, sculpt clay, raise orchids, work on screenplays, teach workshops, and do whatever the H*** I want to do without a pressing deadline."

Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day