A pair of local TV news anchors had a surprise for viewers at the end of their 6 p.m. newscast on Tuesday: They're quitting.
Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, anchors for ABC's WVII affiliate in Bangor, Maine, announced their joint resignations, citing a dispute with management over journalistic practices.
"And finally tonight, this will be Tony and my final show together right here on ABC 7," Michaels told viewers. "The last six years have been an interesting and enjoyable time for us as we have been the longest-running news team in Bangor."
"On behalf of Cindy and me, we have loved every moment bringing the news to you," Consiglio said. "Some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative."
The duo did not elaborate for viewers, but they did for the local newspaper.
"There was a constant disrespecting and belittling of staff," Michaels told the Bangor Daily News. "We both felt there was a lack of knowledge from ownership and upper management in running a newsroom to the extent that I was not allowed to structure and direct them professionally. I couldn't do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions."
"It's a culmination of ongoing occurrences that took place the last several years and basically involved upper-management practices that we both strongly disagreed with," she continued. "It's a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general."
The station's management dismissed Michaels' claims.
"Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news, period," Mike Palmer, WVII vice president and general manager, told the paper. "We've made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down. Over the last 15 to 18 months, we've been a raging locomotive of change."
Palmer also told the Associated Press that the pair "were on their way out, anyway," and that "sometimes people leave their jobs before they're asked to leave."
Michaels, 46, said she will remain in Bangor to pursue a writing career and work on a novel, while Consiglio, 28, will continue his career "in another capacity."
[Hat tip: Mediaite]