Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Daily News of Bangor, Maine has the story of two local TV newscasters who quit their jobs on-air last night.  Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced their resignations from sister stations WVII and WFVX last night at the end of the 6 p.m. newscast.  Neither told anyone of their resignations before the newscast.

The duo quit apparently quit over what the paper calls a "longstanding battle with upper management over journalistic practices."  Ms. Michaels was the stations' news director and Mr. Consiglio was an executive producer of the newscast. Both Ms. Michaels and Mr. Consiglio felt they "were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general.” 

The story does not say what kind of unbalanced political news was expected but WFVX is a Fox affiliate.  That fact may give a hint.

Sometimes when people decide to leave a job, they have another job lined up.  That is not the case with Ms. Michaels or Mr. Consiglio.  Mr. Consiglio is "looking at some options" and Ms. Michaels intends to do "some freelance writing."

In general, I do not think people should work at jobs that make them unhappy.  I assume that was the case here.  However, one questions the wisdom of: (a) quitting without notice; and (b) quitting on the air while announcing that the quit is being caused by upper management.  It is hard to imagine another TV station agreeing to hire either person for a news anchor position.  

Both reporters said they do not have anything lined up in terms of jobs in the media.

“This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made. This is my career and I love doing it,” Consiglio said. “I’m looking at some options, but whether they’re in this industry or not is something I’ll find out.”

Both said they were of similar mindsets and the idea to resign is something they had talked about for a long time, so they felt it was right to make it a joint decision.

And as for Michaels’ future plans?

“I’ve started freelance writing, but I don’t know what I’m going to do either,” she said.

Palmer pointed out the stations’ expansion effort, which began last year with the addition of staff, equipment and newscast programming.

“I’m very proud, given how things are going from here to San Diego, to add 10 jobs and grow the business,” he said.

Michaels said there were a lot of shocked looks by staff when they closed their 6 p.m. newscast with their resignations.

“I was scared to make this decision,” she said. “[News anchoring is] a great thing to do as well as a great place to do it in. I’ve been lucky to do this. We’ve had a great opportunity here and I will miss it.”

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