WFTV news director announces retirement
Matt Parcell, who has been news director at WFTV-Channel 9 since August 2012, announced Wednesday that he will retire.
Parcell made his announcement at a station meeting. The ABC affiliate will seek a replacement by posting the job, and Parcell will stay until the new news director arrives. Parcell estimated that he could leave in midJanuary.
“Things just came together on a number of levels. It was a good time to step back after a 35-year career,” Parcell said in an interview. “I don’t have to do it anymore.”
Parcell has been with WFTV since 1997. He had been No. 2 to news director Bob Jordan and took over the top job after Jordan left to become news director at KIRO in Seattle. Staffers said Parcell is widely respected.
“I’ve worked with Matt Parcell for 21 years when he was executive producer special projects, then as news director,” consumer reporter Todd Ulrich said. “For Matt, journalism was a passion, and he was a key driving force in the station’s success. When our investigations where challenged from outside, I could count on his judgment and support so we did the right thing. And that meant a fair story aired to make a difference for our community. His retirement is our great loss.”
Parcell said he has no idea what he’ll do next. “I don’t live to work,” he said. “I hope to do some good in the community if there’s an opportunity to give back.”
The stories that stood out at
WFTV, he said, include the 2000 presidential election, the Columbia shuttle disaster, the hurricanes of 2004 and the Pulse nightclub shooting.
“The thing that has been so great about being here, you’ve got a station and company that give the resources to cover a story when it comes to crunch time,” Parcell said. (WFTV is owned by Cox Media Group.) “It’s a business, but we’re here to serve. It’s been great to work at a place that allows us to do that.”
Parcell’s announcement was the talk of the WFTV staff. “No one saw it coming. But no one is surprised,” one staffer said. “It’s a hard job. You’re responsible for everything.”
Many factors are out of a news director’s control, such as the way watching television has changed in recent years.
Parcell has led the news department through some major changes, such as Martha Sugalski’s arrival and Bob Opsahl’s retirement. Martie Salt will retire Dec. 13, and Jorge Estevez is leaving Dec. 20 to take a job at WSB in Atlanta. WFTV, WSB and KIRO are owned by Cox Media Group.
There’s great uncertainty about what’s ahead for the Cox stations. The FCC in late November signaled its approval of the sale of Cox to Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm.
ticked because people just don’t seem to value their own safety anymore. Time and time again I have seen people on streets and in shopping centers walk right across the road without so much as looking to see if a car is coming. Yes, technically the pedestrian has the right of way in most cases, but is your life worth taking that chance? Be alert, look both ways before crossing or biking, even in a crosswalk.
health care providers and insurance companies thinking by using puppets in their irritating commercials? Do they think we are a bunch of 5-year-olds? The endless commercials are boring and irksome enough without being treated like we are children. Dump whatever ad companies you use. They are worthless.
off that people intentionally abuse the recycling pickup by putting wood scraps in it and when the county refuses to pick up, they just camouflage it with cardboard instead of removing it from their recycling cart! Idiots like this ruin the efforts of those of us who care about the planet!
off that Orange County deputies don’t work traffic crashes, only state troopers. Not enough troopers, so the wait time is unbearable. We pay a lot of taxes to OCSO. They should work crashes.