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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Sportscaster quits under a cloud

Davy Wathne, one of Norway’s most well-known TV personalities, claims he decided himself to resign from his longtime role as sportscaster for the national commercial channel TV2. His resignation comes after a string of complaints over his behaviour and accusations of harassment.

Davy Wathne, shown here in better times in 2009, resigned this week amidst complaints over his behaviour and accusations of harassment. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

“It has to do with my form, my style and my jargon,” Wathne, who’ll turn 68 in January, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). He said he could only confirm allegedly offensive remarks he’s made, after being confronted with them in a series of meetings with management at TV2.

“I thought I was a bundle of energy and a source of inspiration (at TV2),” Wathne said. “When I realize that others don’t view me in the same way, then we draw a line. I don’t want to be in a place where I’m a negative factor.”

Wathne sprang to national fame as part of the founding crew at TV2, which went on the air in 1992. He has since worked mostly as the main anchor of TV2‘s sportscasts, specializing in football, with an admittedly rough style characterized by his Bergen dialect.

Wathne also admitted to many other media outlets in Norway that he’d been the subject of complaints from colleagues. He told newspaper Bergens Tidende that it was sad to quit. “I didn’t fit in any longer,” he said. “I thought everyone in TV2 looked forward to go to work every day, and was proud to work there. But my style and way of talking didn’t fit. When my style is so controversial, it’s best to quit. The last thing TV2 needs is a sour old man.”

He’s been accused of being “sexist,” which he called a “strong and loaded word. I have never assaulted a colleague. I may have an outdated man’s humour, but that doesn’t mean I’m an attacker.”

Sarah Willand, TV2‘s communications director, confirmed that the broadcaster had received various complaints that management was investigating. She said they were still evaluating the complaints as a personnel issue when Wathne suddenly submitted his resignation, which was announced Thursday afternoon.

“Davy has been one of TV2‘s greatest and most important personalities for 25 years,” Willand told TV2‘s own website. “Viewers have experienced an extremely knowledgable journalist … and he says himself that he’s no conventional person, for better or worse.”

She added that TV2 and Wathne agreed to be open about the reason for his resignation. “His behaviour has been difficult for many in TV2,” Willand said. “Many have viewed him as harassing … because of his rough and demanding tone.”

Wathne, in a farewell email to colleagues at TV2, thanked them for “unforgettable moments during the course of a quarter-century. Meet the future’s challenges with head held high, healthy skepticism and uncompromising integrity. You’ll fix that together.” Berglund



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