Entertainment

Anchor Brien Blakely out at Fox Charlotte

As of Friday, news anchor Brien Blakely and a news producer no longer work at Fox Charlotte, three days after a fight at the station.

Station manager Jim White told the WCCB-TV (Channel 18) news staff on Friday afternoon and in a memo the two "are no longer employed by WCCB."

They had been on leave since their confrontation Tuesday in an office near the newsroom before the station's 10 p.m. newscast.

Blakely, 47, was treated for injuries at the Carolinas Medical Center emergency room. He said he cut his nose when he fell over a desk during the scuffle.

The dispute was, at least in part, over a derogatory posting by the producer on Facebook, people familiar with the situation said.

Police were called Tuesday night to investigate two men fighting at the Fox Charlotte studios at Briar Creek Road, across from Bojangles' Coliseum, but both men had left the building. No charges have been filed.

Neither man responded to requests for comment on Friday, but Blakely's longtime Los Angeles-based agent, Steve Linett, said Blakely left on his own accord.

"Brien was not fired today but in fact offered his resignation," Linett said. Blakely had four months left on his contract and negotiations were under way to extend it.

John Hutchinson, vice president of television for Charlotte-based Bahakel Communications, WCCB's parent company, said Friday the station does not comment on personnel matters.

Blakely joined Fox Charlotte in 2005 after a varied career that included bit acting parts playing reporters on "The X-Files," "The Practice," "Roswell" and on the short-lived Fox legal drama "Head Cases." He had also played minor-league baseball as a second baseman for a team in Billings, Mont.

Blakely worked in California as a freelance anchor and reporter on the cable network E!, did news summaries for DirecTV and worked as a host on HGTV's "Weekend Warriors." Before that, he anchored the morning news show on KPNX in Phoenix for two years.

His news series "Defend Charlotte," with co-anchor Rebecca Clark, won the station a regional Emmy in 2008.

Blakely's departure leaves the station without an evening anchor team. His co-anchor, Rebecca Clark, left in December. "Fox News Edge" host Morgan Fogarty has been filling in on the 10 p.m. broadcast this week. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.

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