Jodi Applegate and Michael Kay are preparing to welcome their first child. Applegate delivered her final newscast for WPIX last night at 10. The station announced last month that her focus was on being a mommy and she would not return to Channel 11 after the maternity leave. She and the YES Network sportscaster are expecting a daughter via gestational carrier next month.
As Applegate was about to hit her mark for the last time at PIX, Kay shedded some light on his wife’s departure.
Kay using his @RealMichaelKay handle on Twitter wrote, “@jodiapplekay is leaving because she wanted to do just one show in order to care for the baby on the way. PIX said it was both or none.”
Kay also tweeted moments later, “Parting amicable but she wants to work in due time in a position that is more mom friendly. Tough call for her giving up NY anchor position.”
Applegate addressed it indirectly as she left the air last night.
“This shift just wasn’t compatible with motherhood right now in my life.”
A WPIX spokesperson says, “Leaving the station was Jodi’s decision. She was offered several options at the end of her contract term but she ultimately decided not to renew.”
As for her final newscast, the final moments were used for a sendoff. Following a commercial, Applegate was joined by Mr. G, Greg Mocker and Arthur Chi’en in the control room. It was “G” who opened the bittersweet farewell saying, “I don’t think I’ve worked with a nicer human being.”
Then Mocker said that was a shared sentiment by much of the station, and promptly showed a video montage from on-air talent and executives.
Following the short tribute, Mocker handed her an oversized “Good Night and Good Luck” card.
“That is so sweet,” Applegate said, hugging her three colleagues. “I feel like Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz. That is so touching.”
Applegate, hired by WPIX in October 2010, was joined by Kay in the closing seconds as the veteran anchor was showered with applause.
The spokesperson says there is no decision on Applegate’s successor, adding that “After an influx of interested candidates, we are in the process of filling the position and will be announcing the new PM anchor shortly.”