Alexis Wiley delivered her last report on Fox 2 Tuesday night, though she'll still appear there occasionally and will be quoted elsewhere as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's press secretary.
"I'm leaving for an amazing opportunity that will allow me to serve the city I've grown to love!" she posts on Facebook.
"I'm sure I'll be back on air before you know it! :)," she tweets.
Tonight's my last night @FOX2News! Thank you to everyone who tuned in night after night. I couldn't be more grateful.— Alexis Wiley (@AlexisWileyNews) January 28, 2014
The pending job was first reported by Deadline Detroit last Saturday. (That article is below.)
WJBK vice president and news director Kevin Roseborough says in a statement. “Alexis has played an integral role in our station’s vigorous reporting on what’s making news in Detroit. . . . We wish her the very best in her new endeavor; she will be missed.”
Original article, Jan. 25:
By Bill McGraw
Mayor Mike Duggan has decided to hire Alexis Wiley of Fox 2 for one of the most visible posts in his new administration -- spokesperson.
People familiar with the move said Wiley will leave the television station in the coming days and quickly go to work for Duggan, who took office Jan. 1.
Wiley could not be reached.
John Roach, Duggan's director of communications, declined comment, but said the mayor is expected to name someone soon.
In her station biography, Wiley describes herself as a "true California girl," but adds: "I am so glad to be here in Detroit and no amount of sunshine will be enough to make me leave."
In picking someone from the electronic media, Duggan is thinking outside the box. Detroit mayors going back decades have mostly picked print reporters or public relations specialists for a job that includes answering journalist's questions, dealing with other members of the administration, writing press releases and serving as the city's public face on a day-to-day basis.
Most of the people who have had the job worked as the mayor's press secretary. It is unclear what Wiley's title will be.
No matter the title or the mayor, it's a high-pressure job: Seven days a week, on call at all hours and jammed constantly between the desire of reporters to reveal all and the needs of a boss who wants to keep the lid on bad publicity. With bankruptcy, a new mayor and the usual flood of news, Detroit city hall in 2014 can be even more hectic than usual.
And, in general, it's a job that has a short life. Many mayoral spokespeople in Detroit haven't lasted long.
Wiley's departure is the second news item to come out of Fox 2 this week. Deadline Detroit reported Wednesday that the station's star, Charlie Leduff, has embarked on a new assignment that will see him frequently on the road and having less time to report on Detroit.
Wiley, who is 30, grew up in Los Angeles and studied at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She worked in Shreveport, La., and Columbus, Ohio, before joining Fox 2 in 2010. Despite living in Buckeye country, she claims in her bio that she never has rooted for Ohio State.
She has shown a passion for Detroit. A year ago, after covering a story about a 13-year-old who was robbed at gunpoint while standing on E. 7 Mile, waiting for a typically late school bus, Wiley wrote about her feelings on Facebook, Twitter and the station's website:
"I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me. No child should close their eyes and picture being murdered. I wish I could make that nightmare go away.
"As I left the 13 year old’s home and got into our live truck, headed to the next story, the woman next door yelled: “You should report that we’re angry and this has got to stop!”
"I hope she is angry. I hope she’s angry enough to wake up tomorrow morning and walk a group of kids to the bus stop and wait with them until they safely board.
"Maybe, she’ll be so angry she’ll convince her neighbors to do the same."