Quincy Media is pulling the plug on the longest running Anchor team in Peoria.
The Journal Star says that Gretchen Wirtz and Mark Welp, Peoria’s longest-running TV news tandem, soon will be removed as anchors at WHOI.
The pair, a team at the station for 11 years, has hosted the morning news show “HOI Daybreak,” along with the afternoon program “Good Company.” However, both were told this week that the station would not renew their contracts after Wirtz’s runs out Sept. 30 and Welp’s ends March 31, sources say.
In August, the station plans to launch a revamped set with new faces on the morning news, sources say. At that time, sources say, Wirtz and Welp could be moved to reporting roles, though their futures are unclear. Furthermore, sources say, plans are uncertain for “Good Company,” on which Welp has been seen little on-camera of late because of his new production duties with the show.
Wirtz and Welp, both of whom are 42, declined to comment. Wirtz has been with the station about 15 years, while Welp has been there about 11 years.
Mark DeSantis, the station’s general manager, declined to talk about the twosome: “I can’t comment on any employee issue.”
He did say that the station is revamping the news operation’s studio, set and graphics.
“We’re investing a lot of resources in relaunching WHOI this year,” DeSantis said.
“We’re rebuilding WHOI pretty much from the ground up.”
The station is owned by Quincy Media, which also owns WEEK-TV, Channel 25 and WAOE, My59.
The news comes less than two weeks after the station terminated anchorman and reporter Eric Greene. Greene, who’d been with the station for more than years, was fired over what the station called an unspecified “personnel issue.”