Detroit’s Fox 2 will undergo major changes next year.
Longtime presenter Huel Perkins is set to retire and Monica Gayle is considering doing the same.
Perkins, 67, who has worked at the station since 1989, is expected to leave around March, a source familiar with the situation told Deadline Detroit. Perkins says there is no specific date yet.
Gayle, 61, who joined the station in 1997, tells Deadline Detroit she hasn’t made up her mind but is considering an exit.
“I’m definitely going to retire, like I said two years ago,” Perkins told Deadline Detroit Tuesday.
He said his decision to do so came as soon as possible after the recent death of close friend Steve Hood, a political consultant and TV and radio personality, and the news of a serious illness affecting another close friend. Hood died in August of cancer.
“Steve Hood’s death really opened my eyes. He was only 58 years old,” Perkins said. “I will live as long as I can still live the life. Even though Steve’s death made me extremely sad, it also inspired me because he decided to live the most wonderful life he could in. the time he had. “
Gayle tells Deadline Detroit that she’s ‘having fun’ with the idea, but “I haven’t made a decision yet. I still speak with my husband.
She agrees with Perkins and says the illnesses affecting her friends have made her see life differently. “Friends have had medical crises that have changed their lives forever. It just reminds us that life is precious and fragile and can change on the fly.”
She said Covid has also had an impact on her thinking about the future. “It has truly been a year of soul searching. We want life to count and we want to enjoy it.”
Whatever happens, she says, “Huel and I had a great race together.”
Rumors are circulating that Fox 2 veterans Roop Raj and Taryn Asher could be candidates to replace them. News Director Kevin Roseborough and station general manager Greg Easterly did not respond to a call for comment on Tuesday.
The retirements of the two veterans would leave WDIV’s Devin Scillian the most seasoned anchor in the Detroit market. Devin joined WDIV as a reporter in 1995 and became a presenter the following year.
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Perkins hosts 5pm, 6, 10 and “The Edge” at 11pm, plus “Let It Rip!” at 10:30 p.m. every Thursday. Gayle is on the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows.
Perkins’ affection for Metro Detroit grew during his tenure as presenter.
“Over the years, I have developed a deep and lasting faith in the people of the Detroit subway,” he wrote in his station biography. “Time and time again, I have seen us overcome huge obstacles. No matter where we live or what we do, there is a sense of community that always seems to bring us together. There is nothing that we cannot achieve … no problem that we cannot solve. “
Fox 2 and WDIV have been battling for ratings in recent years for some key streaming niches.
Over the past few years, Detroit has lost a few prominent anchors in retirement. Carmen Harlan of WDIV resigned in 2016 and Stephen Clark of WXYZ left the station in 2018. Long before that, Mort Crim retired from WDIV in 1997.