There was confusion surrounding the story reported exclusively here last week that Mark Effron was fired as WPIX news director.
Despite the station saying he would return this week following the death of his father and mourning period to the position he’s held since April 2013, GM Rich Graziano confirmed in an email to the staff, and obtained by Tuned In, Effron “has decided to step down.”
He will remain in place until October 31.
“Mark has been instrumental in charting our course through a period of transition as we began repositioning the station with a greater emphasis on news,” Graziano writes.
Given what Tuned In reported last week, it would appear that Tribune’s plan was to fire Effron when he returned from sitting shiva.
However, that backfired.
Not only did some staffers likely find out (including this reporter) before Effron, the firing was handled in a classless way while he was grieving.
So Channel 11 may have planned his exit for this week, but instead of risking the public relations nightmare, it would appear that is why he is being eased out.
In Effron’s note to employees, short-term plans were mentioned.
“When Larry Wert talked to me early last year about joining WPIX as VP/News Director, I made clear my intention to view it as a two-year mission.”
But, even extending through October, Effron only logs 18 months on the job.
Effron says he’ll explore teaching and consulting, which will allow him more time to spend with his family.
“I’ll be here for a while, helping Rich, steering the ship, and paving the way,” Effron writes.
There is no mention of who will replace Effron.