DETROIT (WWJ) – WXYZ TV, Channel 7, has placed its morning news anchor on administrative leave as it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct.
At a news conference, Rev. W.J. Rideout III, pastor of Our God’s People Church in Detroit, called out WXYZ for not taking appropriate action after an employee made harassment claims against Malcom Maddox.
Rideout said that management at one point did order Maddox to stop texting, emailing and sending photos of himself to a female colleague, after she made a complaint, however:
“Malcom did not stop; Malcom continued,” Rideout told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas and other reporters. “The employee says that managers and management told her at the time it needed to be reported to the general manager because the station was getting ready to promote Malcom to the main morning show anchor position.”
Rideout said the claims of sexual harassment were reported to WXYZ Vice President and General Manager Mike Murri. At that point, the woman claims, she was questioned and told “she should respect her boundaries.”
The accuser said Maddox — a former Marine — was given the promotion, while she was moved a new assignment.
Rideout brought up two other names in connection with harassment claims: WXYZ anchor Stephen Clark, who announced his retirement on Monday, and Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson — but did not make any specific accusations against the two.
Rideout said the yet-unnamed alleged victims have retained attorneys.
“And I want to tell you these victims, they’re ready to speak out,” Rideout said. “They’re not scared; they’re not scare of you. It’s too bad that you had to scare women into getting what you wanted from them. You are a sad, sick man to do that to a woman.”
Following Wednesday’s news conference, WXYZ said the station had placed Maddox on leave, adding that it is actively investigating the allegations that were made in the news conference.