Mike Richards was the host and executive producer of Jeopardy! for one day — now he’s neither. Last week, Richards stepped down as Alex Trebek’s replacement on the legendary game show following accusations of discrimination and resurfaced offensive comments made on a podcast. He was still employed as an executive producer… until today when he was fired from both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
“I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately,” Suzanne Prete, executive vice president, business and strategy, for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! wrote in a message to the show’s staff. “We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”
Here’s the full message:
Full memo from Sony on the Mike Richards exit from Jeopardy!: pic.twitter.com/Va0jTgLrLp
— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) August 31, 2021
Richards’ firing comes after a damning Wall Street Journal report that basically no one enjoyed working with him. “Many longtime staffers have not taken to him since he succeeded the beloved Harry Friedman, who ended his long run as executive producer in 2020,” it reads. “Mr. Richards has a force-of-nature type of persona, with sharp elbows that rub many of the Jeopardy! veterans the wrong way, people close to the show said.”
A full-time host for Jeopardy! has not been announced yet.