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Detroit’s WADL Scratches Local Newscast, Following Months of Controversy

After a series of missteps and false starts, Detroit independent station WADL has decided to scrap its 9 p.m. newscast.

“WADL is moving in a new direction, and the news programming will not be a part of its new format,” CEO Kevin Adell announced this week. “I want to personally thank everyone who helped us test the ‘News@9′ segment.”

In January, WADL launched a 9 p.m. newscast produced in partnership with Journal Register Newspapers and began building out a local news operation. But the station’s shot at local news quickly became mired in controversy and in-fighting.

Shortly after hiring Matt Stevens as the station’s first news director in February, WADL fired its news consultant and acting president Kevin O’Brien. Then, following a public fight between the station and O’Brien about the reason for his dismissal, WADL fired Stevens, who O’Brien had hired, on his first day.

In a blog post about his abrupt dismissal, Stevens described being afraid for his life.

After the dust had settled, WADL named Adell’s wife, Joelle Lukasiewicz, news director in March. But it now appears that Lukasiewicz will be ending her role at the station as WADL adds syndicated shows in place of the news.

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