With all the controversy over media bias, it seems two journalists have finally taken a stand -- on air. The longest running news team in Bangor, Maine, resigned at the end of their Tuesday evening broadcast, to the shock of staff and viewers, later telling the Bangor Daily News that management prevented them from running a balanced newsroom.
Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio have been anchors at ABC affiliate WVII and Fox affiliate WFVX in Bangor for six years, but claimed that the owners and managers had been increasingly intervening in their newscasts over the last four, reports the Bangor newspaper.
"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," said Michaels. "It's a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general."
her striking resemblance to then-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Consiglio was the executive producer for the stations, and previously a sports anchor.
Mike Palmer, WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager, denied their charges. "Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period," he said.
Palmer sparked a political tiff in 2006 when he was the stations' general manager, for telling his staff that they would no longer report stories on global warming. When "Bar Harbor is underwater, then we can do global warming stories," he wrote in an email obtained by The New York Times. "Until then, no more."
He explained that he placed global warming stories in the same category as "the killer African bee scare" from the 1970s and "the Y2K scare when everyone's computer is going to self-destruct."
Michaels and Consiglio hadn't told anyone about their plans, so that they would be able to do a final broadcast. "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," Michaels explained to the Daily News.
Neither of them said they were sure if they would be working in broadcasting again anytime soon. "I'm going to pursue a freelance career and concentrate on a novel I'm writing and some painting," Michaels said on-air.
"This is one of the toughest decisions I've ever made. This is my career and I love doing it," Consiglio told the Bangor Daily News. "I'm looking at some options, but whether they're in this industry or not is something I'll find out."
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