An anchor team in Bangor, Maine signed off from the early evening news Tuesday, and surprised viewers and co-workers by quitting their jobs on the spot as well. Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio anchored at WVII-WFVX until last night.
Citing a longstanding battle with upper management over journalistic practices at their Bangor TV stations, news co-anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced their resignations at the end of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. newscast.
Consiglio hinted at some pressure from management that didn’t sit well with his ethical constitution:
“I just wanted to know that I was doing the best job I could and was being honest and ethical as a journalist, and I thought there were times when I wasn’t able to do that,” said Consiglio, a northeastern Connecticut native who broke in with WVII as a sports reporter in April 2006.
Michaels was the news director as well. She said she and Consiglio quit in the manner they did so they could thank viewers on air–something she believes they would not be able to do if they resigned off air.
She elaborated on the strife within the stations in the Bangor Daily News.
“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.”
She also cited a lack of balance in the ABC-Fox duop’s political coverage: “W e were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general,” she said.
Mike Palmer, WVII-WFVX GM, said he was not shocked by the sudden departure of his feature anchors.
“No, that was unfortunate, but not unexpected,” he said. “We’ll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later.”
Bangor Communications owns WVII while SDR Rockfleet Holdings has WFVX in DMA No. 155.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.