Two Bangor, Maine, news anchors decided to tender their resignation live on the air during yesterday's 6 PM newscast, saying a written resignation would have likely prevented them from doing so.

Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, who have spent the past six years at WVII and its sister station WFVX, surprised viewers and staff members with their on-air departure, but upper management expressed little wonder.

"That was unfortunate, but not unexpected," the stations' vice president and general manager Mike Palmer told the Bangor Daily News. "We'll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later."

Michaels and Consiglio had reportedly been feuding with the higher-ups for years over their encroaching involvement in news production.

"There was a constant disrespecting and belittling of staff and we both felt there was a lack of knowledge from ownership and upper management in running a newsroom to the extent that I was not allowed to structure and direct them professionally," Michaels said, adding that news teams "were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general."

Palmer disputes the claim, saying "upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period."

Neither Michaels nor Consiglio have plans to return to the anchor's desk anytime soon. Consiglio said he's looking at "some options" outside the industry, and Michaels will be doing freelance work while focusing on writing a novel and painting.

UPDATE: A tipster directs us to this 2006 New York Times story about WVII/WFVX GM Michael Palmer instructing his news team not to cover global warming until "Bar Harbor is underwater." So much for not getting involved.

[video via Mediaite]