Diane Smith will be leaving WTIC-1080 tomorrow. I just learned this in an email she sent. She's had to keep this under wraps until the last minute. The reason for her departure? Hard times. The station cannot afford to keep her, apparently.
Ms. Smith is a fixture in Connecticut broadcasting. She has the rare gift of making everyone -- even me -- feel welcome on the air. She also has a nose for stories about ordinary people doing good things. She is the opposite of a cynic. It is truly sad that she is leaving radio.
Here's an excerpt from her email.
"After 9 years on the air at WTIC-AM NewsTalk 1080, I will sign off as co-host of “Mornings with Ray and Diane” at 10am on 12/31/08....
This is a difficult time in the broadcasting business and in our nation’s economy and I understand difficult financial decisions are being made by owners of radio stations throughout the country. WTIC General Manager Suzanne McDonald and Operations Manager Steve Salhany are exploring ways I might continue as part of the NewsTalk 1080 family.
As for what’s next, I will be hosting a new weekly series called Connecticut on the Road with Connecticut Public Television in 2009. The series is slated to air in late spring. I plan to continue projects based on Positively Connecticut which I originated during the 16 years I anchored and reported the news at WTNH-TV. Positively Connecticut has spawned four books, published by the Globe Pequot Press, and I am working on a fifth. I have several other projects underway through my company Diane Smith Media. Most of all, I hope to find new ways to continue my unofficial role as a goodwill ambassador for Connecticut."
I wish her every success.