Henderson returns to WTVS-TV in January

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Fired Detroit Free Press opinion editor Stephen Henderson will return to Detroit Public TV now that the station has completed its investigation into whether there were any misconduct claims against him.

Stephen Henderson

Henderson, who hosts “American Black Journal” and is a contributor for “MiWeek” on WTVS-TV (Channel 56), was terminated as managing director of opinion and commentary at the Free Press for misconduct on Dec. 15. There were no accusations or evidence of sexual assault.

The Free Press' internal investigation found inappropriate behavior toward female colleagues stretching back several years, and WTVS officials said due to his termination at the newspaper, they launched an internal investigation. 

"We hired an independent law firm who found there were no inappropriate actions of any kind. Everyone spoke of how highly professional he is, and we are excited to have Stephen back," said Martin Fischhoff, spokesman for WTVS. 

American Black Journal, which airs 9:30 a.m. Sundays, stopped taping after its last show on Dec. 17, and Fischhoff said the show will begin taping again in January. 

"It's a milestone year for the show," Fischhoff said. "It's in its 50th year and is the longest-running public affair show showcasing a wide variety of African-American viewpoints on issues important to the city." 

Henderson, who also hosts a "Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson" on WDET-FM (101.9), said he is exploring legal action against the Free Press following his termination from the newspaper. 

"Neither of the co-workers involved had come forward or filed a complaint before the outside allegations were made against me," Henderson said during his radio show on Dec. 18. "The Free Press told me that neither of the two women wants to take any action. The newspaper and its corporate owner, Gannett, still decided to end my employment, saying my conduct violated the company’s standards.

"I disagree with that decision and outcome, and I am exploring legal action."