John Kessler, the popular morning news anchor at CBS5/KPIX, is leaving the SF CBS 'o and o' when his contract expires in mid-October.
Kessler all but confirmed this to me in an e-mail and phone conversation:
"I'm not in their plans. I'm very disappointed I was not able to deliver the audience they expected from me. For those that did tune in, Thank you. It's been a great ride."
The status of Sydnie Kohara, who co-anchors with Kessler, is not known, but its doubtful she'd return, according to a knowledgeable broadcast source.
Kessler has been at Channel 5 since 2002. In 2004 he won an Emmy for his reporting from Baghdad.
Earlier this month, I reported that both Kessler and Kohara were being let go and was vilified by station personnel. In fact, a KPIX PR rep asked for a correction and I reluctantly obliged.
Like many local TV news stations both here and nationally, KPIX is battling through severe financial problems and has seen many of its prime on-air talent either take offered buyouts and early retirements. In addition, the newsroom budget has been drastically reduced amid the current dire economic climate.
Attempts to reach KPIX news director, Dan Rosenheim, for comment, were unsuccessful.
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