The so-called “Great Resignation” continues to take a toll on local journalism with several high-profile journalists announcing plans to step away from their news outlets this fall:
– Longtime anchor Kelly Frey has left WTAE-TV after failing to reach a new contract with the station. She let viewers know via Facebook that she’s taking a break: “For right now, I’m going to take my dogs for more long walks, focus on my family, my faith and catch up on 21 years of lost sleep!”
– WTAE-TV’s Katelyn Sykes announced on Facebook that she also has chosen not to renew her contract to remain on the air after Monday, Nov. 29. She did not specifically say what she wants to do next except that she has other goals to pursue. “This year, I am thankful for you, Pittsburgh,” she wrote. “Thank you for inviting me into your homes for the past 6 1/2 years. Thank you for trusting me in telling your stories. Thank you for giving me a chance.”
– KDKA-AM radio host and KDKA television reporter Lynne Hayes-Freeland is retiring from both positions after 45 years on the air. She told the Post-Gazette’s Joshua Axelrod that while she was a trailblazer, more people of color need air time: “We need to get to the point where there are multiple Black and brown people on the air because we all walk different paths and have different experiences, and I think we all grow when we share those experiences.”
– PublicSource’s executive director Mila Sanina has announced that she plans to step down before the end of the year. She told readers that she’s proud of the work the nonprofit newsroom has accomplished in her five years there, and she wants to focus on herself: “It’s an incredibly difficult decision for me to depart but it’s time for me to move on and get well and find myself again outside of PublicSource.”
– In hiring news, 90.5 WESA’s new managing editor, Maria Carter, comes to the station from Kansas City where she worked in public radio and led a multi-state collaborative reporting project called Harvest Public Media. The station’s Executive Editor Cindi Lash, who moved back to Pittsburgh this summer after working in St. Louis, said she enjoyed listening to the work Carter and her teams produced in the Midwest and looks forward to her contributions in Pittsburgh.
Andrew Conte, founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, writes the On Media column at NEXTpittsburgh with support from The Heinz Endowments. You can find all of his columns here, and you can email him.