JoAnne Purtan’s last day on WXYZ is March 23

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Television news anchor JoAnne Purtan is leaving WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) later this month.

In a lengthy social media post to viewers and fans, Purtan explained that her contract with the station was not renewed and expired this month. Her last day on air is scheduled for March 23.

“This is a difficult post to write,” she wrote, saying that the failure to renew her contract was due to “corporate restructuring of the Scripps-owned television stations.”

“As shocked as I was, and as disappointed as I still am, I want to focus instead on my gratitude for all of you,” she said on Facebook. “I have had an amazing 20 years at WXYZ-TV because of you, our faithful viewers. I can’t thank you enough for inviting me into your homes and your newsfeeds through the years, trusting me to bring you the stories, both good and bad, that impact our local communities. I’ve never taken that trust for granted. We’ve laughed together, and sadly, too many times, as you’ve shed a tear at home over a story, I’ve fought back tears on the set.”

She ends the post by saying her on-air sign off will not be a goodbye.

“This is my hometown and I plan to remain a part of this great community. I’ve been exploring some exciting opportunities for this next chapter in my life that I hope to share soon.”

Purtan confirmed her Facebook post Friday afternoon but declined to comment further. WXYZ officials did not respond to calls for comment.

According to WXYZ staff bios, Purtan is an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter. She anchors Action News at noon and co-anchors the 4 p.m. newscast.

Longtime WXYZ anchor Stephen Clark left the station earlier this month. The station and its parent company Scripps were in the news earlier this week after former reporter Tara Edwards filed a sexual harassment suit against the company regarding the actions of anchor Malcom Maddox, who was removed from on-air duties Tuesday “to avoid any further distraction” from the station’s mission.

Twitter: @melodybaetens