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Former anchor airs her hurt feelings

November 30, 2003

The untold story of how veteran anchor Anne Peterson's departure from KCTV was handled? It wasn't a pretty one, she confides.

"It hurt very, very deeply," Peterson says. "But you know, I guess everything happens for a reason that is beyond our understanding and control. I think it's unconscionable the way everything has been handled. I feel like I've been backstabbed quite a bit for no reason."

Peterson was not allowed to deliver an on-air farewell or complete her contract at KCTV.

She feels the backstabbing came when the station put out the word that few viewers had anguished over her departure from Channel 5 after 24 years.

"You know what?" Peterson asks. "I know some of the folks at the station and the feedback that I have received -- from the phone calls, the e-mails that have come into the station and what I have heard everywhere I go -- is that people have been very, very supportive, and very upset about the way things have been handled. It's almost like I've been a dirty dishrag that they just tossed out.

"And I never did anything wrong. I have put my heart and my soul, the amount of time and energy that I've put into that station. The long hours, working extra days, forgoing vacations. I mean, all those things."

KCTV news director Regent Ducas counters that, "KCTV 5 always wanted Anne to leave with grace and dignity. But once attorneys got involved, it was out of our hands."

Though Peterson did indeed ask for more money than KCTV offered to pay her, in the form of a going-away paycheck, "It was more than just money," she says. "There were a lot of issues that we needed to discuss...We were to have a mutually agreed upon announcement and a mutually agreed upon date of departure. And all that was reneged upon."

In spite of that Peterson didn't take any shots at KCTV when she left the station. The only reason she's talking now, she says, is she feels her side of the story is the only one that remains untold.

Starting with her farewell message that never was broadcast.

"The message I really wanted to say was thank you to Kansas City for all the years of support," she says. "I feel like I've worked so closely with so many organizations and corporations and hospitals and individuals. I think we've accomplished a great deal together in our community. I feel so thankful that I've had the opportunity to be in broadcasting, right here in Kansas City. Right here in the heart of America. And my work isn't done. I may not be on the air at KCTV 5, but I plan to continue to reach out to the community because that's where I feel the greatest work is accomplished."

Peterson is a spokeswoman for a pair of local medical organizations now and is exploring working with a local company to develop health and wellness educational programs for its employees.