ICYMI: The week in TV news for April 12-18, 2020

WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel dies at 69, WWE fires several big names after resuming live shows

On April 16, the WWE published an obituary for ring announcer Howard Finkel. It was the first indication that the Hall of Famer recently died. He was 69. Details surrounding his death have not been made public. In other WWE news… The wrestling company resumed live televised shows (sans live audiences) on April 13 after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed off on a mandate designating “professional sports and media production with a national audience” as “essential services” critical to the state’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” the WWE said in a statement to CNN. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff.” Two days later, the WWE released another statement announcing that they’d “identified headcount reductions and made the decision to furlough a portion of [our] workforce effective immediately.” They then announced on Twitter that they’d “come to terms on the release of Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), EC3 (Michael Hutter) and Lio Rush (Lionel Green).”

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