Posted in: Media Industry

Maine Anchors Resign Live On-Air After Dispute With Network [Video]

anchors resign live on air

Two anchors in Maine tendered their official resignations live on-air last night, with the pair calling it quits in real time after a long-running dispute with higher-ups at the station.

Bangor-based ABC news anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio resigned live on-air during the 6 PM broadcast on Tuesday after what a local news source said was a battle between the network news hosts and management over “journalistic practices” and pressure to politicize news in a way that made the pair uncomfortable.

The on-air resignations came as a shock to both co-workers and viewers of the broadcast — while the tensions Michaels and Consiglio referenced were well known, the abrupt departure handled in such a way was still unexpected at the conclusion of the 6 PM news.

The Bangor Daily News covered the anchors’ live resignations in-depth, quoting Consiglio as saying that he felt his ethics were being compromised in the position:

“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.”

But Mike Palmer, WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager, told the paper that the turn of events wasn’t necessarily a surprise:

“ … that was unfortunate, but not unexpected … We’ll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later.”

Michaels indicated that being secretive was necessary to carry out the pair’s plans to resign in such a fashion, and ensure they’d be able to say goodbye to viewers:

“We 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 continued, describing why she and Consiglio made the unusual choice to resign live on television:

“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.”

The experienced anchor added:

“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.”

Neither specified the nature of the bias they allege they were pressured to adopt — but Michaels says the decision made with Consiglio was not an easy one and that both will miss their jobs:

“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.”

You can watch the clip of Michaels and Consiglio quitting on TV below:

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Comments

29 Responses to “Maine Anchors Resign Live On-Air After Dispute With Network [Video]”

  1. Linda Womble

    There goes their broadcasting careers. Although I would hope some agency would appreciate their commitment and hire them.

  2. Kimberly Greer-Nichols

    Good For Them! If more stood up and did this then maybe news would go back to be just that.. news..

  3. Ron Gardner

    It's pretty naive to say this will hurt their broadcasting careers. That would imply that there are some sort of standards/rules that apply to the profession and that hasn't been the case for a few decades now.

  4. Alyssa Proffitt Brown

    Good for them! You have to appreciate what it must've have been like for them to feel so strongly about leaving their secure jobs. Wish them nothing but the best!

  5. Bewley's Brothel

    I see the problem, it's the arrogance of Mike Palmer who sounds like a prick of a bully with his 'my way or the highway' thinking. I've seen so many GM's act like complete asses it's no surprise they did what they did and I do not blame them. Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past. When you can find decent GM and ND you have it made, but those are very rare to find these days. Good luck to them, at least they didn't fight on air like anchors did at KCEN-TV in the 90s and it ended up on A Current Affair and ruined both their careers.

  6. Marcel Fernandez

    Keeping it classy… Good job for standing up for what you believe!

  7. Jon Logue

    This is awesome to hear :) Especially that they keep bringing up that it was mostly the political practices that did it.
    If anything, this will hopefully boost there careers or at least open some new doors for them.

  8. Thejesuslizardkingdiamond O'riley

    Nice to see that ethics still exist amongst the media!

  9. Anonymous

    There's a pretty good chance they will be blacklisted for the rest of their lives.

  10. Glen Hawkins

    Now if we can just see THE FIVE do a similar exodus on Fox (Facts Often X'd Out) we will know the USA's nervous breakdown has come to an end.

  11. Debi Schepers

    Good for them. Too many higher-ups are dictating political bias to the newscasters — real newscasters and journalists need to stand up to this more often.

  12. Paul Rogers

    I'm sure they'll end up in another place where they don't have to tow the obozo company line. they need to head somewhere in the south most likely.

  13. Paul Rogers

    I'm sure they'll end up in another place where they don't have to tow the obozo company line. they need to head somewhere in the south most likely.

  14. Martin Hime

    suppose they were not socialist like the other liberal media cbs abc nbc cnn could not bear to constantly see the inbalance of the political system in the news media good for them.

  15. Anonymous

    But they aren't journalists. They're face that read the news. They neither pursue, nor do they write the news, they only read it off of a screen.

  16. Rusty Santos

    they handled that very professional.i wish them all the luck in the world while I hope the ratings of the station tank.

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  18. Joe Urban

    I am proud of them for standing up for what tehy believe in! It sounds like they were being asked to deliver "unbalanced political news" and I hope they find a station with more etical credibility. This is a win for ethics and journalistic integrity.