Maine Anchors Resign On Air After Ongoing Dispute With Network

on November 21 2012 2:30 PM

Two Maine news anchors at an ABC-affiliate station in Bangor, Maine resigned live on the air last night after apparently getting fed up with the management at their station.

Cindy Michaels and Michael Consiglio announced their joint resignations during a broadcast on Tuesday at 6 p.m. “This will be Tony and my final show together here at ABC 7. The last six years have been an interesting and enjoyable time for both of us, as we have been the longest running news team in Bangor,” she said.

“And on behalf of Cindy and me, we have loved every moment bringing the news to you and coming into the homes with your stories of the community and the state,” added Consiglio. “Some recent developments have come to our attention though, and departing together is the best alternative we can take.”

The departures marked the culmination of an ongoing dispute between the anchors and management over “journalistic practices” at their station WVII, as well a sister station reported the Associated Press.

“You are a wonderful community, Bangor,” Michaels added. “And we are very sad at having to say goodbye for now, but we will still be around. I’m gonna pursue a freelance writing career and concentrate on a novel I’m writing and some painting. But we’ll be around.”

“And I will be continuing on my career in another capacity,” said Consiglio, 28. Consiglio began his career at the station back in 2006 as a sports reporter. Michaels 46, has also worked at the station for six years and serves at the news director in addition to anchor.

Michaels and Consiglio took a united stance, blaming their joint decision to quit on micromanagement from upper management, and on pressure to politicize the news. The two said that those frustrations had been building for over four years. “It’s a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general,” 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,” Michaels she added in an interview with the Bangor Daily News. “I couldn’t do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions.”

Mike Palmer, vice president and manager of the station, called the double resignations “unfortunate, but not expected.” However, he rebutted Michaels’ claims that the direction of the newsroom was controlled by upper management.“Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period,” he said. “We’ve made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down.”