Kicked to the Curb in Charlotte

Longtime WCNC Investigative Reporter Stuart Watson was pushed out the door on Friday after 16 years.

Watson gave the station some of their biggest scoops, but that didn't stop the station from giving him the axe. 

"There are people who are much better than I am who are facing the exact same thing because of what's called 'newsanomics' -- the profound upheaval in our business model," Watson said Friday night referring to the economic headwinds tearing nowadays through traditional media outlets. 

"I don't think this is personal, nor do I take it as personal."

Watson, who came to Charlotte in January 1999 from WRAL in Raleigh, is the most senior personality to depart from the station since it was acquired by Gannett Broadcasting a year ago.

He was involved in dozens of high-profile stories in Charlotte.

On Friday, Watson said, he was at the Catholic Diocese doing a story on an employee who posted on his Facebook page that he planned to marry his gay partner of 11 years, then found himself suddenly without a job. 

"I hope they'll air that the first part of next week," said Watson.

After he returned to the station, he was called in and told that his contract, which is up in February, would not be renewed. "Different philosophies," he said. "That was the stated reason."

His termination didn't come entirely as a surprise, he said. There had been no talks with the station on a new contract to take effect after his present three-year deal expired. 

Watson won't be working the last month of his contract. "I am finished," he said. "That's what I'm told."

Nice way to treat a guy that has worked at the station for such a longtime.

H/T Media Scene