DETROIT, Dec. 1 -- A fired television news anchorman said Friday he did nothing wrong when he accepted free use of cars from various automakers. But WJBK Channel 2, the Fox network affiliate in Detroit, fired Warren Pierce after questions of ethics were raised about his use of the cars.
Other media outlets in Detroit say they allow reporters to borrow cars. They reported, however, that employees usually only use the cars for a few days. Pierce, 51, reportedly kept the cars, including BMWs and Jaguars, for up to a week. Pierce defended his use of the cars at a news conference Friday night but declined to answer reporters' questions. 'This is the way the system works. Everybody knows it. Free things are common at every radio and TV station in town,' Pierce said. He said he borrowed the cars to keep up with the auto industry. WJBK officials took him off the air Monday after a BMW spokesman complained that Pierce had used a half dozen expensive cars but had not reviewed them as promised. Pierce denied he had pledged to review the cars. A list obtained by The Detroit News revealed Pierce borrowed 99 cars from early 1994 to this month from Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Cadillac, BMW and other makers. The list came from A&M Specialists Inc., a Detroit firm that maintains and services media cars.