In a dramatic on-air resignation, the WVII evening anchor team announced their intention to leave the Bangor ABC affiliate Tuesday night. Cindy Michaels, who doubles as the station’s news director, and her co-anchor Tony Consiglio surprised both staff and viewers with the announcement at the close of the 6 p.m. newscast (video above).
“And finally tonight this will be Tony and my final show together here on ABC7,” said Michaels. “The last 6 years have been an interesting and enjoyable time for both of us as we have been the longest running news team in Bangor.”
“Some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take,” Consiglio added.
In an interview with the Bangor Daily News, Michaels cited station management’s “constant disrespecting and belittling of staff” as the reason for their resignation.
WVII VP-GM Mike Palmer told the Daily News that the announcement was “unfortunate, but not unexpected,” adding that the positions would be filled with “experienced people” soon.
Both anchors said the decision to resign together had been a long time coming:
“There was a constant disrespecting and belittling of staff and 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,” Michaels explained. “I couldn’t do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions.”
“Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period,” said Palmer, who had just finished posting online job opening ads in his office at 10 p.m. Tuesday. “We’ve made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down.”
Both Consiglio and Michaels said they weren’t sure what they were going to do in the future.
>UPDATE: In 2006, The New York Times focused an article [click here to view] on WVII vice president and general manager Mike Palmer who, at the time, disagreed with assertions made in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,”
Mr. Palmer said he wanted no more stories broadcast on global warming because: “a) we do local news, b) the issue evolved from hard science into hard politics and c) despite what you may have heard from the mainstream media, this science is far from conclusive.” Mr. Palmer said in his e-mail message to his operations manager and two women who served as a news anchor and a reporter that he placed “global warming stories in the same category as ‘the killer African bee scare’ from the 1970s or, more recently, the Y2K scare when everyone’s computer was going to self-destruct.”