Cindy Michaels, 46, and Tony Consiglio, 28, news anchors with Bangor, Maine, ABC affiliate WVII, surprised staff and viewers, when at the end of their 6 p.m. newscast Tuesday, they announced their resignations on air.
The station's news director Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, surprised viewers and staff with unexpected resignations announced at the end of the 6 p.m. news broadcast. Consiglio said: "Some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take."
The Huffington Post reports the announcement surprised everyone. Michaels said many members of staff had shocked looks on their faces.
In an interview with Bangor Daily News, Michaels said that their resignation was the result of a mounting tension between them and the station's senior management that impaired their ability to perform their duties comfortably. Michaels said: "It's a culmination of ongoing occurrences that took place the last several years and basically involved upper management practices that we both strongly disagreed with. It's a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general."
Bangor Daily News reports Michaels said: “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. I couldn't do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions.”
Mediaite reports Consiglio said, “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.”
Both kept the decision to announce their resignation to themselves and no one knew beforehand that they were going to announce it.
Michaels and Consiglio have a combined 12½ years’ service at WVII (Channel 7) and its sister station WFVX (Channel 22), Bangor Daily News reports. They were apparently dissatisfied with certain aspects of journalistic practice which they felt compromised ethical news delivery.
ABC 15 comments: "Apparently problems had compounded over the last four years and they believed that if they had planned their exit formally, they wouldn't have been able to say goodbye to their viewers."
Mediaite reports Michaels explained that the two had “figured if we had tendered our resignations off the air, we would not have been allowed to say goodbye to the community on the air and that was really important for us to do that.”
She said that “Broadcasting is a love for both of us. We definitely will miss not being able to come into folks’ living rooms and I hope there’s no hard feelings from the community for this decision we've made, but we felt we had to do it.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that the station's management said they are already searching for people to fill their places. According to WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager, Mike Palmer, the resignations were not surprising. He said it was "unfortunate, but not unexpected."
Palmer insisted that “Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period. We've made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down.”
Neither Michaels nor Consiglio had offers of alternative appointments waiting, The Los Angeles Times reports. Michaels said she would pursue freelance writing and painting while Consiglio said he'd try to find another job in TV News.
Bangor Daily News reports he said: “This is one of the toughest decisions I've ever made. This is my career and I love doing it. I’m looking at some options, but whether they’re in this industry or not is something I’ll find out.”