Off the air: WLOSer Charu Kumarhia


Here’s what Asheville Citizen-Times reporter John Boyle reports regarding no more Charu Kumharia on WLOS:

It sounds like Charu is a full-time mom these days. The baby boy came Jan. 21, and Charu and hubby sound like they’re on cloud nine, although they could probably use a good nap like all new parents.

As far as returning to the station, that looks doubtful.

“While I had hoped to return to my job after the birth of my child, I was informed that the station would not hold my position open for me until then,” Kumarhia told me via email. “I value the experience I had with WLOS over the past nine and a half years. Right now, I’m learning to care for a newborn, but I am looking for opportunities to continue to serve Western North Carolina.”

She also mentioned that she’s “very thankful for viewer support over the years — it’s the reason I stayed with the station for so long. My husband and I feel so lucky to raise our family in the mountains!”

Charu didn’t respond to my inquiries. Not sure why, but it sounds like there’s more to this story. Isn’t it illegal not to let a woman go have a baby then come back to work?

Anyway, I’ll miss Charu. She did a great job, and was always fun to see on the beat. Best of luck, Charu.


Tracie M Hewitt October 26, 2012 - 7:15 am

I had many opportunities to speak with Charu in interviews following my husbands, Sgt.Jeff Hewitt, death in 2004. Charu made me feel at ease and I absolutely consider her a friend. I don’t know the circumstances of this situation, but I don’t feel that Charu would manipulate the truth for any personal gain. She is truly a wonderful person and I am grateful that I was met with her grace what I was experiencing the most traumatic event of my life. I don’t really keep up with WLOS 13 since she left. I usually find myself watching Greenville, SC news. I miss seeing Charu on the news but I know that she is enjoying God’s blessing and he will open a better door for her when he is ready.

Steve March 20, 2012 - 6:55 pm

I think the Family Medical Leave Act allows up to 12 weeks without pay for maternity leave.

mat catastrophe March 23, 2012 - 10:34 am

That is exactly what it says and, aside from being horribly behind almost every country in the world, it also states that a position must be held for that long should an employee choose to return.

So, either Charu isn’t being honest or WLOS is illegally terminating her employment.

Nate March 23, 2012 - 11:40 am

She might not be dishonest, just leaving out the part where she informed her employers that she wanted to take *more* than 12 weeks off before returning, and they told her they couldn’t hold her job any longer than that.

mat catastrophe March 28, 2012 - 10:29 pm

Is this where we argue whether or not withholding information is the same as flat-out lying?

Nate March 29, 2012 - 11:51 am

Not unless you’re a crazy person who believes that presenting nothing but facts in a way that presents your case in the most sympathetic light is 100% equivalent to lying. She doesn’t make the claim that they violated her rights in any way in her statement, it’s only Jason and the comments here that are speculating that such a thing might have happened. All she’s trying to do with her statement is make you feel sympathy for the fact that things didn’t work out, and in her opinion it was the station’s “fault.” They’re not legally obligated to do her any favors though, and she certainly seems like a smart and savvy enough woman to understand what her rights were under the type of contract she had with WLOS. Heck, she may even have an agent or manager who takes care of that kind of thing for her, and would be very quick to sue and get his/her percentage for any contract violation.

Frankly this is all much too much thought about a non-issue that doesn’t directly affect any of us anyway … I just get itchy when I see people make pronouncements of “obvious” fact that are anything but.

mat catastrophe March 30, 2012 - 7:02 am

“Frankly this is all much too much thought about a non-issue that doesn’t directly affect any of us anyway ”

I thought that’s what we were here for. 😛

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