BANGOR, Maine Two news co-anchors surprised their co-workers, their audience and their bosses when they tendered their resignation live on-air.
Former co-anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced that they were quitting at the end of Tuesday's 6 p.m. newscast on Bangor, Maine's ABC affiliate station WVII. Prior to the statement, they had not told anyone else of their plans. They later cited frustration with their management.
On the newscast, the two didn't give specific reasons on the air for their sudden departure. Consiglio said that while they enjoyed reporting the news, "some recent developments have come to our attention, though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take."
Michaels said she and Consiglio "are very sorry for having to say goodbye for now, but we'll still be around." She plans to pursue a writing career and paint, and Consiglio said he would continue his career "in a different capacity."
Michaels told Bangor Daily News that they thought if they had resigned off air, they would have not been allowed to say goodbye to their viewers. They said they had been frustrated over the last four years about how they were instructed to do their jobs.
"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."
Their boss said Wednesday they had been on their way out the door anyway. He said he was not surprised by the action they took.
"Sometimes people leave before they're officially told to leave," said Mike Palmer, station vice president and general manager. He declined to discuss issues that may have caused disagreements but said, "There are things that they know."
Palmer denied to the Bangor Daily News that upper management was involved in daily production.
Asked about reaction from viewers in the small market served by WVII, Palmer said, "I have not heard from a single viewer."
But he said he had received about 20 applications for their jobs after posting them Tuesday night on an industry website.
"I've had people from all over the country send resumes and audition reels," Palmer said.
WVII and another station Palmer manages, Fox affiliate WFVX, have made headlines before. In 2006, The New York Times reported that Palmer prohibited his staff from doing stories on global warming.
Consiglio, 28, started with WVII as a sports reporter in April 2006. Michaels, 46, was the news director and spent six years at the station.
Watch their resignation below: