WDVM-TV anchorwoman J. C. Hayward, who has not appeared on the Channel 9 evening news since her contract expired last Wednesday, rejected a new contract offer made Monday, and it appears doubtful that Hayward and the station will reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, according to station vice president and general manager Ed Pfeiffer.
"Our lawyers and her lawyers met in conference, and we offered a substantial increase. . . . She doesn't accept it," said Pfeiffer, who would not disclose the salary terms of the proposal. "It is our desire to have her continue," he said, but "after [Monday's] meeting we're just not as hopeful."
Hayward's attorney, Alfred Geller of New York, said "there was no new contract completed last Wednesday and without a contract J. C. decided not to return to work Thursday." As for Hayward's future with WDVM, Geller said he could not give "a prognosis" but the "prospects were highly questionable."
"Yes, it's substantial," he said of the television station's offer, "but the word substantial by itself doesn't mean anything -- substantial to what?"
"Considering all of the facts," Geller continued, "who J. C. is, that she's been in the market for nearly 10 years, that she delivers ratings to her station . . . I could go on . . . the amount of money to Gordon Peterson, to Glenn Brenner . . . we're not dealing with a secretary's salary here," the amount of money offered was not satisfactory.
Geller said Hayward was not anxious to end her near-10-year relationship with WDVM and would like to continue with the station, but said "we're getting awfully close" to ending negotiations. "We haven't set a time limit yet, but I suspect that today we will."
Geller also claimed that Hayward has received local and national offers but would not say from whom.