WJBK Anchors Honor Late Leader and Friend Jeff Murri

Huel Perkins and Monica Gayle, anchors of Fox-owned WJBK Detroit’s 10 p.m. news, offered a heartfelt tribute Thursday night to their leader and friend, the stations VP and general manager Jeff Murri and B&C’s 2011 General Manager of the Year who died suddenly earlier in the day.

“He was more than our boss, he was our friend,” Gayle said during the 10 p.m. newscast. The tribute followed a report on the Jane Bashara murder case that has been dominating the market in recent days and a report on the city of Detroit’s ongoing negotiations with the unions.

Gayle added that “Jeff was a devoted family man” and was devoted to making WJBK’s workplace “a family environment,” stopping by “every single day” to check in. The anchors shared highlights of the Michigan native’s career, much of which he spent in Detroit.

“He talked often of his wife and two sons,” Perkins said.

The anchors read aloud the statement issued Thursday by Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox TV Stations.

Audibly choked up, Perkins added, “He loved his family, he loved this station and he loved this region,” before rolling clips of Murri out in the community, all smiles and on the job.

News of Murri’s death appeared prominently on the station’s Website Thursday, along with his bio. WJBK did not report a cause of death.