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Ch.4′s Hairston: “It Was Time to Go”

Channel 4 anchor-reporter Mylous Hairston said this afternoon that the decision to leave the station abruptly Thursday was his and he plans on moving on to the next chapter in his life.

In a telephone interview, the 46-year-old Hairston said he decided to leave Channel 4 after 20 years because changes in the industry made him question his long-term future in television.

“It was time to go,” said Hairston. “I was going to go at some point this year anyway. This was as good a time as any.”

Hairston said he was offered a new contract a few weeks ago, but declined to discuss whether he was offered a pay cut or a pay raise. He didn’t sign it and started negotiating his exit with the company a few days ago.

“One was offered, that’s all I can say,” said Hairston. “I did not feel pushed out. The company was great, the union was fantastic. I have no issues with the company.”

However, Hairston did have some issues with the changing TV news business.

“Reporters and anchors are now shooting and editing their own stories, which is something I haven’t done since 1989,” said Hairston. “So many things are taking place all across the industry that I was thinking about the long-term future and what was good for me.”

“I was thinking about people like myself who have been around 20 years or more and asking would I have a long-term future,” said Hairston. “I didn’t know how much longer I would be around given the trends in the industry.”

He remains the local president of AFTRA. He has been the top on-air negotiator in talks with Channel 4’s owner, LIN Media. Negotiations have been frustrating. The company imposed a contract more than a year ago after talks stalled. They have since resumed with little progress.

Asked if he is frustrated by the way the TV news business is trending, Hairston said: “A lot of people are frustrated by the way the industry is going. It is more demanding and more taxing than ever before and that’s why people are leaving for other positions or desiring to leave. This is not what they signed up for.”

Hairston said he has no future job plans. He doubts that he would take another TV job.

“I think I’m done,” said Hairston.

He did acknowledge talking with Mayor Brown, who has a job opening as his spokesperson.

“I’ll consider anything,” said Hairston. “A lot of people have spoken to me. Maybe I’ll pursue it, maybe I won’t.”

But he expects there will be life after TV after he takes a few months to reflect on the past and consider his next move.

“I’ve lived my dream at Channel 4 for more than 20 years,” said Hairston, who acknowledged that he “was crying a lot” when he left the station Thursday for the last time.

His abrupt exit means he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to viewers or even get a goodbye package from the station.

What would he have said if he had been given the chance to say goodbye?

“It’s been a pleasure to come into your homes for the last 20 years,” said Hairston, “and for being part of your lives. Hopefully, I’ve served you well. We’ve grown together. Thanks for watching. It was greatly appreciated.”


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2 responses to "Ch.4′s Hairston: “It Was Time to Go”"

  1. Sarah says:

    Taking a position w/ Brown would be a huge step down. I’m a poet.

  2. Chris says:

    Since local TV reporters basically let the Buffalo News do all the legwork and research for important stories and then just paraphrase these News articles on the air, they should have plenty of time to do their own editing, etc.

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