BANGOR — Two news co-anchors for a Maine television station surprised viewers and colleagues by quitting on the air, later citing frustration with their management.
Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced their resignations at the end of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. newscast on WVII.
The two didn’t give specific reasons on the air for their sudden departure. Consiglio said that while they enjoyed reporting the news, “some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take.”
Michaels said she and Consiglio were “are very sorry for having to say goodbye for now, but we’ll still be around.” She plans to pursue a writing career and paint, and Consiglio said he would continue his career “in a different capacity.”
Their boss said Wednesday they had been on their way out the door anyway. He said he was not surprised by the action they took.
“Sometimes people leave before they’re officially told to leave,” said Mike Palmer, station vice president and general manager. He declined to discuss issues that may have caused disagreements but said, “There are things that they know.”
Michaels, who was the station’s news director, said in an email to The Associated Press that there was “a regular un-doing of decisions made by me.” She also questioned the station’s treatment of political stories and said it did not consider news programming important enough.
WVII and another station Palmer manages, Fox affiliate WFVX, have made headlines before. In 2006, The New York Times reported that Palmer prohibited further stories on global warming after the stations reported from a movie theater where Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was opening.
Michaels wrote she had “no clue” she was going to be let go.
She and Consiglio, she wrote, “were Bangor’s longest running news team with more than six years on the news together. We wanted to be able to say a thoughtful, heart-felt good-bye 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.”
The AP left messages with Consiglio. Both told the Bangor Daily News after their last newscast that they were frustrated with management and cited a dispute over journalistic practices.
Asked about reaction from viewers in the small market served by WVII, an ABC affiliate, Palmer said, “I have not heard from a single viewer.”
But he said he had received about 20 applications for their jobs after posting them Tuesday night on an industry website.
“I’ve had people from all over the country send resumes and audition reels,” Palmer said.
Consiglio, 28, started with WVII as a sports reporter in April 2006. Michaels, 46, spent six years at the station.