Bob Hite DUI: What Are the Implications?
I'm vacationing with my family in Indiana, so I'm in no position to help with coverage of WFLA anchor Bob Hite's arrest this morning for driving under the influence.
Obviously, it's an infraction which couldn't come at a worse time for Hite, 60, who was prepared to cap a 30-year career at WFLA with a big send-off next Wednesday. It also comes on the heels of an arrest Nov. 6 of Hite's son Tyler for choking his girlfriend; the anchor told WFLA's Web site TBO.com that he didn't have a relationship with his son, and when I tried to ask him about it during an interview last week, Hite grew indignant and refused to comment in detail.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time an anchor at WFLA has been arrested on such charges; former sports anchor Chris Thomas was also arrested for DUI not long before he left the station in 2002. He died of cancer in 2004.
It's an arrest which also raises lots of questions, which I can't answer from here: Is this a one-time mistake or something that could cause larger problems for his farewell? How will Hite himself deal with the questions raised by the arrest? Will WFLA still move ahead with plans to feature Hite in occasional specials on the channel? And does this have any connection to his decision to retire in the first place?
I wish I could offer some answers, but I won't be able to really work this story until I get back in town Monday. But I'm sure we'll have other reporters at the Times working to flesh out details.