Julie Tremmel, an incredibly talented and popular TV reporter with NBC affiliate WJAR in Rhode Island, was wrongfully terminated without cause for simply doing her job. While doing a story on “America’s Got Talent,” which, for those who are unfamiliar to the show, is strictly about entertainment, Tremmel ended the segment by doing a handstand on television.
Yes, America, she performed a handstand. She did not offend any religious or ethnic group with her words. She did not harm anyone. She did not d anything illegal or unethical. She was closing a bit on an entertainment show by – yes – doing something entertaining.
And she was wrongfully and unpopularly fired because of it.
“So I got to thinking,” Tremmel said toward the end of her segment, “I had a chance to meet a huge L.A. and New York City producer today and I had absolutely no skills to show him. I don’t dance and I don’t sing, but I do do gymnastics!
“So I thought, to the producers watching at home tonight,” Tremmel continued, “how about a news reporter that does the news while she’s walking on her hands?”
That was it. It was the end of the piece and, to the shock and dismay of nearly everyone, Tremmel’s time with NBC 10 WJAR.
In case you were somehow unaware, Tremmel is the same news reporter who did the light-hearted piece on what you should do if you suddenly find yourself in the presence of a bear. After a bear was spotted in Cranston, Tremmel’s piece immediately went viral. In case WJAR has already forgotten, it also put them on the map. The station’s ratings went up, and Tremmel was the cause.
Now, WJAR decided to fire Tremmel without cause simply because she ended an entertainment story by doing something entertaining. If this is not further proof that we take ourselves way too seriously, I do not know what is.
“I was terminated without cause from WJAR and my Union and I are fighting it through the grievance and arbitration process in our Contract with the Station,” Tremmel told GoLocal Prov in an email. “That is all I’m prepared to say at this time.”
Tremmel will not go quietly, and neither should she. Yes, this is a bit more personal for me than others. While I have not spoken with Tremmel for over 15 years, I had the pleasure to work with her on the University of Tampa newspaper, The Minaret. She was the sports editor and gave me a weekly sports column for the newspaper as a freshman. It was an honor, and I knew right away that Tremmel had a bright future in the media field. Even after a few stuff-shirts and suits who have temporarily taken Tremmel’s career off path, I will guarantee you all that she will be back in a big way.
And, in all likelihood, with a much bigger station who is more deserving of her talent.
WJAR and NBC 10 reports such as Jim Taricani want to be taken more seriously. Here’s hoping that America disagrees.
Best of luck, Julie, although I know that you will be back in a bigger and better way than ever. See you back on TV soon!