"What the hell am I gonna do with all these ties now?!"
That's the conundrum longtime Michigan television anchor Frank Turner faces a day after he says he was "unceremoniously" let go from WNEM in mid-Michigan for pushing back on the station's masking protocol. Turner, who previoulsy worked at WXYZ, wrote on Facebook that "I don't want to share the studio unmasked with other colleagues."
"I guess they'd rather not have me at all than accommodate me on the mask in a pandemic," he said in a Facebook post. "Oh well. It's been great. And you all have been wonderful. I'll miss you."
In a statement, however, the station tells The Detroit News that Turner was not fired, but that it "has specific COVID-19 protocols in place developed in consultation with medical experts. We wish Mr. Turner the best of luck in his future endeavors."
The Meredith Corp.-owned station based in Saginaw said a vaccine mandate was looming, and that employees are required to wear masks in areas where they can't socially distance. On-air talent is maskless, but 6-feet apart. It's not known whether Turner was vaccinated and he has not replied to requests for comment from local media.
Turner was with the station for five years following a ten-year TV-hiatus in which he reportedly pursued ministry.