I've been canned by WRAL-TV.
In 2002, WRAL and The News & Observer joined forces on a weekly 30-minute news and public affairs show called "Headline Sunday" (later changed to "Headline Saturday"). The show was co-hosted by WRAL's David Crabtree and Melanie Sill, executive editor of The N&O. When Sill left for The Sacramento Bee in late 2007, I was named executive editor and joined Crabtree as co-host.
This week, Steve Hammel, WRAL's general manager, called to say he was changing the format of the show. Crabtree will host alone and the show won't be affiliated with The N&O, although N&O reporters could be invited to appear from time to time. Hammel was gracious and even gave me two weeks notice, meaning my last show will air Saturday, Aug. 22. By the way, neither I nor other N&O staffers who appear on the show are paid by WRAL, so this wasn't a cost-cutting move.
It's more about the pace of the show, Hammel said, which can quicken with a single anchor. Certainly, TV is not my medium -- even my own mother once pointed that out to me. (If your mother says you looked bad on television Saturday night, you probably did.) But I have enjoyed working with David Crabtree, floor director Stuart Todd and the rest of the crew at WRAL. They always made me feel welcome and helped a newspaper guy get through a television show. They are true professionals. We have a healthy rivalry with WRAL but there's no doubt it's a first-rate operation. I'd like to think we make each other better.
As for my co-hosting abilities, I might have erred in modeling myself after Ron Burgundy of the 2004 movie, "Anchorman." Still, as my TV career ends, I'd like to say: Stay classy, Triangle.