- Popular and controversial Detroit TV personality Bill Bonds stepped down from his part-time role as commentator for WXYZ-TV to become a commercial pitchman. Bonds, who returned to the station in late 1998 after being fired earlier over substance-abuse problems, will do TV ads for Warren, Mich.-based Gardner White Furniture.
WXYZ-TV told Bonds, 67, that he could not do both, and he chose to do the ads, the station said. Commercial pitches can be the final step for a broadcaster, but Bonds' status as a Detroit icon might make him an exception, should he choose to return to TV news.
- Meanwhile, WXYZ-TV rehired anchor Frank Turner, who left the station in 1998 after embarrassing revelations regarding thousands spent on phone sex. "Over the past two years, Frank has worked hard to turn his life around," said WXYZ-TV Vice President and General Manager Grace Gilchrist. "He's ready to come back and make a contribution to our station and to our community. His return has been warmly received by the staff at Channel 7, and we believe our viewers will have the same reaction."