Veteran anchor Roberta Jasina says 'my heart was broken' by leaving Detroit's WWJ-AM

·3 min read
Roberta Jasina
Roberta Jasina

Detroit's shifting media scene just lost another popular longtime figure.

Veteran WWJ-AM (950) morning anchor Roberta Jasina announced Thursday on social media that she had been let go two days earlier from the radio station that was her home for 34 years.

Fittingly, Jasina posted an audio message Thursday on Facebook to explain why she is no longer working in the 5-10 a.m. time slot at the all-news radio station owned by Audacy.

Jasina, who's 68, made it clear she didn't retire and candidly shared her sadness at losing her job.

In the recorded comments, she noted that her boss, Debbie Kenyon, senior vice president and market manager of Audacy Detroit, couldn't have been nicer.

"She used phrases like 'budget cuts,' 'this isn't personal,' 'I think you're great,'" said Jasina.

"But I have to say, my heart was broken. I loved WWJ. I had the best job in the world."

After thanking her listeners, Jasina also revealed some difficult personal news. She said that the day after she found out the station was letting her go, her husband, Alan, was diagnosed with cancer.

"If you could, please say a prayer for my family," she concluded.

Reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Jasina said she has been heartened by all of the kind thoughts and wishes she is receiving from friends and listeners.

According to Jasina, her future career plans aren't her current priority. "Basically right now, I just want to concentrate on my husband and getting him well."

The two will mark their 41-year anniversary Oct. 3.

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Jasina first worked for WWJ as an intern in 1975. Before joining the station as a full-time employee, she spent 10 years with the old WMJC-FM (94.7), now known as WCSX.

She was a street reporter for WWJ for three years before being promoted to morning anchor. As the Detroit News described in 2020, she became "the reassuring voice of Detroit's morning rush hour."

Jasina's co-anchor  Jonathan Carlson, a former TV journalist who joined WWJ this spring, remains in the morning drive spot.

In a statement to the Free Press, WWJ's Kenyon said: “Roberta had a storied career with WWJ and was a key piece of the station’s success for 34 years. We appreciate her years of dedication informing and entertaining our community and wish her and her family nothing but the best in her future endeavors."

On Jasina's Facebook page, comments have poured in as a result of her departure. More than 140 responses had accumulated by Thursday afternoon.

"You are still the best unseen communicator in Detroit and maybe the best-loved," wrote Bob Giles, former director of news and operations at WXYZ-TV.

"I’m so sorry to hear this, Roberta. I love listening to you in the morning. I’ll have to find a different radio program in the morning. Prayers for you and your husband. Looking forward to finding you at another station in the morning. Take care," wrote Elizabeth Schlaff.

The view of many fans was summed up by Adam Spindler, who posted, "I don't even know how there can BE a WWJ without Roberta Jasina."

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds at jhinds@freepress.com.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Roberta Jasina, anchor at WWJ-AM, loses job after 34 years at station