Gannett “Company Gal” Gets Fired in a Letter Left at Her Door: “And This is the Thanks I Got”

For 15 years, Marty Matthews has been a “company gal” at WTSP/Tampa, anchoring the main newscasts at the CBS station, and when times got tight, she did everything the company asked to help tighten belts and get through until things got better. She says, “I even chose to take a five-day furlough in the 1st quarter to help them save money and a be a good ‘company gal.’ And this is the thanks I got.”

The thanks came in a manila envelope left anonymously at Matthews’ front door. Inside, a letter from the station saying, essentially, you’re fired. WTSP management told the St. Pete Times’ Eric Deggans the letter was a last resort when efforts to reach Matthews in person failed. Seriously? Efforts to reach your 4 p.m. anchor “failed?” Do managers know where their own studios are located? The newsroom? These gutless people who can’t even find the courage to look a person in the eyes and tell them what’s happening… how did they fill the management ranks in this business?

WTSP/Tampa's Marty Matthews

WTSP/Tampa's Marty Matthews

Matthews called suggestions she was unreachable a lie: “They sure could find somebody to drive over to my house and leave a manila envelope here…why didn’t they find time to ask me while I was in the office?” Matthews told Eric Deggans, who reports she struggled to contain her anger.

Am I missing something? I get that times are as bad as they’ve ever been in this business. And I completely understand that decisions will be made and good people will lose their jobs. What I have trouble with is the “have their agent tell them” or “wait until they finish the newscast and have security escort them out–oh, and make sure you get their bio off the site ASAP.”

You’d think–in Matthews’ case–fifteen years of service to a company would require a little something better than a letter dropped at the door by a person who took off without so much as knocking. When did local television become junior high?

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4 Comments

Filed under layoffs

4 responses to “Gannett “Company Gal” Gets Fired in a Letter Left at Her Door: “And This is the Thanks I Got”

  1. Bill Williams

    wow. what a way to drop the bomb. and she was cute.
    so who is gonna do the 4? Or will they have a empty seat on the set? did the reporter mention if she received a severance check? i wonder if the station is gonna hire the immensely popular bob del greco?

  2. Stephanie Holmes

    I just got back to Tampa and heard that Marty Matthews, my favorite news anchor in town, was fired in a terrible way….an envelope left on her doorstep?
    I’d ask if Ch 10, WTSP, has lost its mind, but I think it’s clear we all know the answer to that is “YES”.
    I tried calling the news director, Darren Richards, but he was too busy to take my call. Then I wanted to talk to Ken Tonning, the general manager, but his secretary wouldn’t put me through. I even emailed the station, and still no reply.
    Lately, I’m hearing *that station is claiming to be all about “connecting” to the viewers, but when it comes to their best and most beloved anchor, they don’t want to connect with anyone.
    I miss Marty Matthews!! Will someone please hire her in town and soon? I’m afraid she’ll be grabbed up by a big-time station and we won’t be able to see her anymore.
    One more thing….she is the most beautiful anchor in Tampa Bay…inside and out!

    • Paula Snow

      Marty was the best on Ch. 10.Dave Wirth is a close 2nd.This is a total shame or was it sham.We will miss you Marty.I hope a local station snaps her up.

  3. willie

    fyi: the story that her contract was not renewed is NOT true, according to a posting by Marty

    we will miss her terribly – due to extremely poor editorial policies the quality of print and broadcast media here in Tampa Bay is simply awful – worse than many other much smaller markets

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