News director Maria Reitan will leave WCCO-TV Minneapolis at the end of the
The station's new general manager, Ed Piette -- who shook up the market
recently when he moved to the Viacom Inc. station from Hubbard Broadcasting Inc.'s KSTP-TV
in the same market -- said he had asked Reitan to stay with the station until the
Minnesota State Fair, a major event, was over.
Reitan said she is looking at several opportunities, but it was too soon
to elaborate. Her departure was the subject of speculation for some time.
Some personnel changes attributed to Reitan and to recently departed general
manager Rene LaSpina had alienated parts of the newsroom, most notably the
demotion of popular local anchor Amelia Santaniello, who has stayed with the
station. Local press frequently ran stories about conflicts within the
"I chose not to allow unflattering things to influence my job," Reitan said.
"Anyone who comes into a newsroom has to make hard decisions and changes. Change
is not always welcome."
Piette said he'd found Reitan cooperative and professional, but both he and she acknowledged that damage had been done that would likely be
impossible to repair.
Piette said her replacement would face a "rather large challenge. We're
looking for someone who knows news and who will respect the individuals inside
that newsroom; someone who knows the history of this place, and hopefully
someone interested in ascending to general manager someday."