Denver NBC affiliate KUSA announced Tuesday anchor Adele Arakawa will retire next June, after 24 years.
The Denver Post reports station management wasn’t ready to let Arakawa go–despite an internet gossip site that suggested she was being pushed “out the door”–and tried to extend her current deal:
Arakawa was encouraged to stay by 9News/TEGNA boss Patti Dennis, and was offered enticements to extend her contract. But it wasn’t about money, Arakawa said.
“Frankly, I never made a secret of the fact that I’m not going to work beyond a certain age. I’m surprised I’ve lasted as long as I have,” she said.
She thinks the timing is right: The day after her planned retirement, she and her husband, Barry Tiller, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Two weeks later, Arakawa will turn 60; the following month, her husband will turn 70.
This was a decision made a year ago. 9NEWS approached me 18 months before my current contract expired to ask me to stay for another term. Twelve months ago, I told them this was it, this is my final contract and that I wanted to retire in June 2017.
Close friends and colleagues have known this for months.
And now – so do you.
About the bogus internet story reporting she’d been targeted for a buyout, Arakawa said “it angers me, it’s this whole specter of fake news. The industry has morphed into something quite different … . We used to be a respected industry. Now people are left trying to distinguish what’s true, what’s false.”
Arakawa doesn’t want a huge sendoff–just a brief farewell. “I would like to have a minute to thank everybody and, at 10:35 p.m., walk out the door. I just want to fade off into the sunset.”