Co-anchors of Maine TV newscast quit their jobs on air

·Contributing Writer

There's making a professional statement and then there's quitting your job on air at the end of your news broadcast.

Long frustrated with management disputes and the station's journalistic direction, co-anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio of WVII in Bangor, Maine banded together to create one of the more memorable sendoffs in local news history.

"The last six years have been an interesting and enjoyable time for both of us," said Michaels, addressing Bangor, Maine's local evening news audience.

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"Some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take," Consiglio continued before the team wrapped up the newscaster equivalent of flipping the bird at the big bosses.

Though the collaborative offense wasn't exactly keyed into the teleprompter, station vice-president and general manager Mike Palmer told the Associated Press that the pair simply quit before they could be fired.

"Sometimes people leave before they're officially told to leave," he said. "There are things that they know."

That development appeared to be… well, news to Michaels, who told the AP she had "no clue" her job was in jeopardy and felt that their actions fell on the proper side of the respect spectrum.

"We wanted to be able to say a thoughtful, heartfelt goodbye to our viewers and to the many communities we served over the years. We did not defame the company in any way over the air. The goodbye was cordial, sincere and done with integrity," she wrote in an email to the news agency.

The AP notes that Michaels expressed concern over the way political stories were presented and believed the station focused too much on unimportant news.

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As for their future plans, Consiglio would like to continue in broadcast but in a "different capacity," while Michaels is ready to dedicate herself to writing and painting.

And news anchor hopefuls may want to get their resumes in before Palmer loses count.

"I've had people from all over the country send resumes and audition reels," he said.

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