Grace under pressure

In protest of increasing management interference in the news (primarily of the right wing variety) two co-anchors on stations WVII and WFVX in Bangor, Maine, announced their resignations on the air, and later cited excessive management interference in the news process:

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.

Michaels and Consiglio, who have a combined 12½ years’ service at WVII (Channel 7) and sister station WFVX (Channel 22), shocked staff members and viewers with their joint resignations Tuesday evening.

“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.

Not everyone was shocked by the on-air resignations.

“No, that was unfortunate, but not unexpected,” said Mike Palmer, WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager. “We’ll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later.”

Neither reporter had told anyone of their decisions before Tuesday’s newscast.

“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,” said Michaels, the station’s news director, who has spent six of her 15 years in Bangor’s radio and TV market at WVII.

Both Michaels, 46, and Consiglio, 28, said frustration over the way they were allowed or told to do their jobs — something that has been steadily mounting for the last four years — became too much for them.

For what it’s worth, Mike Palmer, the aforementioned general manager, got some national ink in 2006, when he issued an edict forbidding any coverage of anthropogenic climate change until, “Bar Harbor is underwater.”

The fact that they surprised management by quitting on the air is telling.  They knew that the could not trust them.

Big surprise that one of the stations is a Fox affiliate.

H/t A Siegel at the big orange Borg.

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