To say it was a tumultuous tenure would be an understatement. Mark Effron has been shown the door at WPIX, Tuned In has learned. We’re told Effron exited the building on East 42nd Street for the final time Wednesday at 2 p.m. He was named news director of the Tribune O&O in April 2013.
Katherine Green, Tribune’s Senior VP of News, alerted staffers in-person about Effron’s departure. Although nothing official, Amy Waldman as the second in command becomes interim news director.
It was an internal struggle as rumors persisted that Effron’s days were dwindling. Ratings were not seeing much improvement, despite Channel 11 pumping its chest about the recent July sweeps period. The station has picked up some viewers at 5 p.m., but hardly able to make a made a dent in the morning news wars or at 10 p.m. against WNYW/Channel 5.
Effron made many moves to put his own stamp on the station’s local news gathering. His biggest splash came in September when he wooed Scott Stanford from WNBC to become nightly co-anchor with Tamsen Fadal. It was also the move that backfired the most. Just weeks ago, John Muller returned to PIX, pushing Stanford, Effron’s high-profile hire, back to sports.
With Effron’s firing an uneasy feeling permeates the station. An insider says no one is safe.
“It’s about time now they need to clean house and maybe we can get back to hard news.”
Update: Despite multiple sources confirming, a WPIX spokesperson denies the report, saying, “Mark has not been fired. His father passed away last week and he’s been out for the funeral and burial. He returns to the station on Monday.”