News Director, Tracey Watkowski-Silva, fired Newman on Tuesday. Many industry insiders speculated that Newman's ouster was a financial move.
It was not.
Newman and Watkowski frequently butted heads and, according to an ABC7 source, "from day one when Tracey started here (2012) she and Ricquel didn't see eye to eye. There was frequent tension."
The official reason for Newman's firing was "performance-related" but that seems dubious given KGO's immensely popular, award-winning, "7 On Your Side", which is Finney's signature project and the station's lauded consumer-oriented franchise. It's been a Circle7 staple for over twenty years.
In fact, it appears from here that Newman was given the heave-ho because Watkowski finally had had enough with what she apparently deemed an internal threat. Never mind Newman's reputation as earnest and hard-working, some attributes that has Finney still shaking his head over her dismissal and fracturing his own relationship with Watkowski.
Finney is one of KGO's most popular and recognizable personalities, and thus, his angst over this questionable personnel matter has rumors swirling around 900 Front that Watkowski might be on the hot seat herself. Presumably when she fired Newman, she had to have the OK from KGO GM and President, Bill Burton. If so, Burton has, perhaps, a very disgruntled key part of the news operation (Finney) and an equally pissed-off newsroom.