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September 5, 2013

Photo by Francois Gagnon

Shannon Moss, fired Portland television news anchor, will soon be producing an interview show that will air on two local UHF channels, 51 and 35.

Former WMTW news anchor to launch interview program

By Ray Routhier
rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Popular Portland television news anchor Shannon Moss, who was dismissed by WMTW (Ch. 8 ) in June, will begin hosting her own interview show on two Portland TV stations in October.

Moss, who had been on Portland newscasts since 1999, is planning to produce and host her own half-hour interview show, "Split Screen with Shannon Moss." The show is slated to debut Oct. 5 on Portland station WPME (Ch. 35), a MyNetwork TV affiliate. It will also air Sundays beginning Oct. 6 on WPXT (Ch. 51), a CW network affiliate.

Moss is funding and producing the show herself. She's not employed by the stations.

On Wednesday, Moss said the show will feature two interviews per episode. One will be an interview with a well-known Maine or New England celebrity conducted in a "surprising" place, outside the person's usual environment, Moss said.

The other interview will be with a lesser-known person doing surprising or "extraordinary" things, she said.

Scheduled guests include former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, snowboarder Seth Wescott and a Maine surgeon recognized as a leader in her field who is also an avid hockey player.

After her contract wasn't renewed by WMTW, Moss said she knew right away that she wanted to stay in Maine and keep working in journalism, if possible. Managers at WMTW would not comment on Moss' dismissal.

Moss said her husband suggested she explore launching her own show, and she was bolstered by the fact that so many of her former viewers asked her -- in person or online -- when they might see her on TV again.

"My husband had said for a long time I should do something on my own, and I used to say, 'What am I going to do? Quit my job and start my own show?'," said Moss. "People kept reaching out to me asking where I was going to go. So I thought this was something I could try, to keep telling stories."

A native of Rhode Island, Moss has two sons, ages 7 and 9. Her husband is a Portland police officer.

Moss's show is scheduled to air on WPME Saturdays at 9 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. It will also air Sundays at 11:30 a.m. on WPXT. At first, it will air twice a month, but Moss says she hopes it will air weekly. It will also be shown on her website, Shannonmoss.com.

Moss will be producing the shows, finding sponsors and interviewing guests. She'll pay the stations for use of their crews, she said.

Tom Mac Arthur, general manager of both WPXT and WPME, said he "jumped" at the opportunity to put Moss' show on his stations, given her popularity and experience in Maine.

"No question her popularity is a factor. When I heard she was interested in doing this show, I knew we had to find a way to make it happen," said Mac Arthur. "With her experience and contacts, she'll have a lot of interesting people on."

Moss said she's not sure if she will pursue a full-time TV news job in Maine in the future. For now, she wants to concentrate on the interview show.

"That (a TV news job) is on hold right now. We'll see what happens," Moss said.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com





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