Lee Cruse and Hayley Harmon return to television on ABC 36 in 2020


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lee Cruse and Hayley Harmon will be returning to television on ABC 36 with “The Lee and Hayley Show.”

The two made the announcement in typical Lee and Hayley fashion, with a lighthearted tongue-in-cheek video.

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“This may be the best professional day of my life,” Cruse said.

In May, Cruse was fired for “inappropriate comments” about the newly born royal baby that come called racist.

He said the comment was an innocent mistake.

“I beat myself up for quite a while, because again, it was a little bit of just a perfect storm coming together. A bunch of confluence, one of them I was not prepared, I wasn’t sure what the story was that I was speaking about and that’s really how it all fell apart for us,” he said.

Cruse said this opportunity is a second chance for him.

“I’m certainly not perfect, but I don’t know who is, but it’s a better world if you can offer up grace and forgiveness if somebody has made an innocent mistake,” he said.

At the time of the comments the NAACP was a big part of the opposition, calling for Cruse’s removal from the show.

As of Tuesday night, the NAACP said it’s analyzing the announcement and needs more time to make an informed statement.

ABC 36 General Manager Chris Aldridge said Cruse’s character is not defined by what happened.

“Lee admits that he made a mistake he apologized for that mistake his apology was sincere,” Aldridge said. “So again, rather than focus on what happened in the past, we want to focus on the future.”

When asked what message he think it sends to ABC 36 viewers who were hurt by Cruse’s comments, Aldridge said the positive feedback outweighs the negative.

“There will be some people, and there always is, you can never please everyone, but at the same time, I can’t even begin to tell you the overwhelmingly positive response that we’ve received from this,” he said.

When asked why stay in Lexington when the show could have moved locations, Cruse said Lexington is home and the two hosts love it here.

“It’s a win-win, so it’s not that we’re not being ambitious, we are going to be very ambitious,” he said. “The thing is, we’re just doing it from our home and it’s a great opportunity.”

Cruse also said at the end of the day he hopes he can make people smile and take their minds off of the worries of life and just be entertained for a little while.

“If we’re making people forget hardship in some of the challenges that they have in life, then we’re winning,” he said.

Cruse said the show will feature some of its classic segments and there will be new content too.

“The Lee and Hayley Show” will debut on Monday, February 17, and will air weekdays on WTVQ ABC 36.


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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com