Updated at 9 p.m. ET: Anyone who has been fed up with salary, management or other issues that have made a job unbearable has surely dreamed of a "take-this-job-and-shove-it" moment. For most, though, news of the moment likely wouldn't make it outside the workplace walls.
That wasn't the case for a TV news anchor duo in Bangor, Maine, who quit their jobs in front of thousands of viewers at the end of Tuesday evening's newscast.
In what was reportedly inspired by a conflict with upper management, co-anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced to viewers that it would be their last show, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The news anchors shared more than 12 years of experience working for WVII and sister station WFVX, according to the Daily News.
"Some recent developments have come to our attention ... and departing together is the best alternative we can take," Consiglio told viewers.
"We wanted to be able to say a thoughtful, heartfelt good-bye to our viewers and to the many communities we served over the years," Michaels told NBC News in an email Wednesday. "We scripted something to keep from getting off-course and emotional."
Michaels, 46, and Consiglio, 28, didn't tell anyone of their decision before the newscast, according to the Bangor Daily News. The newspaper reported the journalists were frustrated over the last four years with the way they were told to do their jobs. In her signoff, Michaels claimed the two were "the longest running news team in Bangor," with six years at the desk.
"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, who also served as the station's news director, told the Bangor Daily News. Her co-anchor, Consiglio, also served as executive producer for the station.
"There was a regular undoing of decisions made by me, the news director," Michaels told NBC News, citing that politically-charged stories were sometimes not treated with an unbiased approach.
Michaels' public LinkedIn profile indicates she has worked at the station since October 2006. Consiglio, who was first a sports anchor and reporter before moving over to the news anchor role, has worked at the station since April 2006, according to his public LinkedIn profile.
Mike Palmer, the station's vice president and general manager, told the Bangor Daily News the incident was "unfortunate, but not unexpected." Palmer denied claims that upper management was involved in daily news production.
But a 2006 New York Times' story indicates that may not be true. Following a broadcast segment about the showing of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," Palmer wrote to his staff that they should refrain from reporting on global warming until Bar Harbor is underwater.
He explained: “a) we do local news, b) the issue evolved from hard science into hard politics and c) despite what you may have heard from the mainstream media, this science is far from conclusive.”
According to the Times' report, Palmer likened global to “global warming stories in the same category as ‘the killer African bee scare’ from the 1970s or, more recently, the Y2K scare when everyone’s computer was going to self-destruct.”
As of Wednesday morning, WVII's employment page listed no open job opportunities, but the Bangor Daily News reported Palmer posted online job opening ads Tuesday night.
The anchors are moving on: Michaels told viewers she will pursue freelance writing, while Consiglio said he'll continue his career "in another capacity."
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