Philadelphia news icon Larry Kane said he will retire as a KYW-TV TV anchor Dec. 23, after he lost his top anchor slot to Marc Howard from Philly rival WPVI-TV.
The 45-year broadcast veteran and 36-year anchor has anchored for all three major stations, the only person to do so in the nation's fourth-largest TV market, according to local sources. Only a week before his announcement, Kane was honored by the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, which named Kane Person of the Year.
Always the newsman, the long-acknowledged dean of Philadelphia anchors told viewers Tuesday night that he wanted to break the story to them before they read it in the morning papers.
"I've had a wonderful career as an anchor," an emotional Kane told viewers, " made possible by the mutual respect I've shared with the people of this community, who are the best human beings in America: candid but caring, and loyal without limits. I came here as a 23-year-old and came to fall in love with this community. It's my home and will always be.
"I want to let you know that this was my decision," he continued, "that management tried over and over again to change my mind and, really, I just decided it was time for a change."
Kane, 60, says he'll be providing special news-based programming for KYW-AM and will be consulting for two as-yet-unidentified communications companies.
The controversy that followed Howard's hiring, in which Kane and his manager Alfred Geller made clear their disappointment, "only made me realize all the opportunities there were for me," he said.
"We had hoped that Larry would stay on at KYW-3," said Peter Dunn, the station's vice president and general manager. "But, while disappointed that he will not be part of our news team in the new year, I respect his decision. He has made enormous contributions to this station for almost 10 years, and I know he will continue to share his perspective through various Philadelphia media ... to be part of the fabric of life in this city."
KYW-TV will reportedly buy out the remaining year of Kane's contract, for somewhat less than his $600,000 salary.