Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Ray Routhier firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND – Longtime Portland news anchor Shannon Moss was fired abruptly Tuesday from her job at WMTW-TV.
Moss said station officials told her Tuesday that it would be her last day, after six years as a morning anchor at the station. She knew that her contract had expired Monday, but said she was given no prior notice of her dismissal.
Moss said Wednesday that she has no "ill feelings" toward WMTW management, and understands that such changes happen in TV news. She wished "the best" for her former colleagues at WMTW, Portland's ABC affiliate.
"It's a fickle business," said Moss. "I was told I was a fierce journalist with a great work ethic, but that viewers weren't responding to me."
Moss said local news ratings, which are compiled by Nielsen Media Research and provided to stations for a fee, showed recently that the newscast she co-anchored had made gains.
WMTW's president and general manager, David Abel, would not elaborate on Moss' departure Wednesday, citing a company policy of not commenting on personnel matters.
Abel did not say who would replace Moss on the morning news, which airs from 4:30 to 7 weekdays. The station used some of its reporters as fill-ins Tuesday and Wednesday, along with Erin Ovalle, the regular co-anchor with Moss.
As the station that often comes in last in Portland's local TV news ratings -- three stations produce local news -- WMTW switches anchors more often than the others.
Moss and Ovalle had been co-anchors on WMTW's morning news since 2011. When she began at WMTW in 2007, Moss co-anchored the morning news with Norm Karkos, who is now a reporter at the station.
By comparison, the morning anchors at WCSH-TV -- Sharon Rose Vaznis and Lee Nelson -- have been on the air together since 1996.
WCSH, an NBC affiliate, has had its main evening anchor team of Cindy Williams and Pat Callaghan together on air for 23 years.
At WGME-TV, Portland's CBS affiliate, Kim Block has anchored the news for more than 30 years. WMTW's main 6 p.m. anchor, Tracy Sabol, has been in that role since 2010.
Moss, who is married and has two sons, said she has no specific job plans, but will stay in this area. The Rhode Island native was a reporter and anchor at WCSH from 1999 until she took the morning anchor job at WMTW in 2007 to be at home in the afternoons and evenings with her children, who are now 6 and 8.
Moss said she will enjoy having a break from arriving at work around 3 a.m. but will miss working on news stories and "being a part of Mainers' lives."
Moss has a reputation for helping out charitable causes and community events and said she appears at about 25 events a year, often as emcee.
She called some of those event organizers after being let go from WMTW and was pleased to find that some wanted her to appear at their events anyway.
"That was so nice to hear," she said.
Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: