BY JOSE LAMBIET
Reporter Turchin out at WPLG after accident
WPLG-Channel star crime reporter John Turchin is no longer at the ABC affiliate, and the circumstances of his exit while still under contract has the TV news biz buzzing.
Turchin, 58, came to WPLG after the show he was on for 15 years, John Walsh’s nationally syndicated America’s Most Wanted, shut down in 2012.
Since then, Turchin has been running all over South Florida to cover breaking news and crime. But in December, while Turchin was on vacation, he fell awkwardly after losing consciousness while on blood-pressure medication.
According to a source at WPLG, Turchin broke his right ankle. After several surgeries and months of rehab, Turchin was hoping to get back on the air when he was told there was no room left for him.
Turchin declined comment on the details of his exit.
“I love the industry,” he said, “and I’d love to return to it. I devoted a career in covering law enforcement.”
The station source, who asked not to be named in this story, said Turchin received a letter from HR in mid-March telling him his services were no longer required.
The letter came about the time he went from short-term disability with pay, a three-month break, to long-term. He did, however, tell station managers that he could be back by June or July.
“John feels hurt the station refused to keep a place for him,” the source said. “He is pretty bitter. He was still in a walker at the time they canned him.
“All he asked for is to be able to work more inside and less on the streets. They refused to accommodate him.”
WPLG News Director Bill Pohovey declined comment because, he said, “the matter involves confidential and personal information that includes health.”