Two WRAL anchors leaving

Take buyouts as station cuts

Staff writerJune 27, 2009 

Two veteran newspeople at WRAL left the station Friday as its owner cut costs.

WRAL announced that Bob Holliday, a sports anchor with 28 years at the station, accepted a voluntary buyout offer made last week to an undisclosed number of Capitol Broadcasting Co. employees. Anchor Volanda Calloway, who has eight years at WRAL, also left. Both worked their last day Friday.

Jim Goodmon, Capitol's CEO and grandson of the founder, declined to discuss staffing when reached earlier in the week but said a cost-cutting plan would be in place by the end of June. Like The News & Observer and other news organizations across the country, Capitol has seen its revenue decline. The company had said it would cut operating expenses by 15 percent.

The station paid tribute to the newscasters on their way out.

Calloway dabbed away tears at the end of the evening news as Bill Leslie and Elizabeth Gardner helped her recount some of the stories she had covered during her tenure.

In a tribute to Bob Holliday on its Web site, WRAL said he was known as "The Captain" in the sports department.

Holliday became an integral part of WRAL's coverage, the tribute says, whether it was at a U.S. Open in Pinehurst, covering Dale Earnhardt's stunning death at Daytona, or reporting from the Final Four 18 times.

Holliday had some parting words as well.

"To my co-workers," he said, "working alongside all of you these past 28 years has been an honor. ... And most of all, to the viewers: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind words about our coverage. I have tried to represent you in the stories and coverage we have done. For 28 years, I've had the best seat in the house. I am for ever indebted to all of you."

martha.quillin@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8989

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