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Nancy Goodspeed leaves co-anchor job at KHQ-TV

July 25, 1984

By Michael Schmeltzer
The Spokesman-Review

Nancy Goodspeed, who for the past four years co-anchored the evening news at Spokane’s KHQ-TV, has left the station.

Goodspeed, 35, submitted her resignation Monday. For the Monday evening newscast, her seat was filled by Channel 6 news director Dean Mell opposite reporter Anali Torrado. Torrado had been scheduled to substitute this week for vacationing co-anchor Randy Shaw.

Asked Tuesday if she had been pressured by station management to resign, Goodspeed replied, “I can’t comment on that – at least not right now.”

Three KHQ reporters – Carole Geer, Holly Houston and Torrado – are being considered as potential replacements for Goodspeed, according to Mell. The trio of reporters will take turns filling the co-anchor slot on KHQ’s evening news over the next couple of weeks, he said. But Mell would not rule out the possibility that KHQ might hire its new co-anchor from outside the station’s newsroom.

In other developments at KHQ, sports reporter Steve Fimmel, who has appeared on both the 5 o’clock and 11 o’clock weekday news broadcasts for more than two years, has been reassigned to weekend duty. No replacement has been named.

Goodspeed’s resignation comes less than a year after she and Mell became entangled in a well-publicized dispute over her future at the station. Last August, Mell told Goodspeed that station management was considering moving her into a new position at KHQ, from co-anchor to senior correspondent.

Mell said then that the change would amount to a promotion for Goodspeed, moving her into a “management-track position.” But Goodspeed said she would view such a job change as a demotion. “They’re handing me my head,” she said at the time.

But on Tuesday both Mell and Goodspeed, who had worked at KHQ since 1975 and was Mell’s first hire after being named the station’s news director, insisted that her resignation the previous day had nothing to do with last summer’s rift.

Mell, however, said Goodspeed’s resignation “did not exactly come as a surprise.” He declined to elaborate, except to say that “in this business, nothing ever comes as much of a surprise.”

Goodspeed said “My feelings at the moment are bittersweet. I’m reluctant to say too much because my professional future, to a great extent, is still in the hands of people at the station.

“I don’t want to get carried away at a time when I’m feeling very unsettled and end up committing professional suicide,” Goodspeed said.

It was just eight months ago that Goodspeed’s longtime co-anchor, Carl Clark, left KHQ after seven years at the station. Clark resigned in November to accept a job with a television station in South Carolina. He was replaced by Shaw.

KHQ’s local news program has historically held an edge over its two competitors in the Spokane market, KREM and KXLY. But February’s Arbitron viewers survey showed KHQ and KREM in a dead heat out front, with KXLY also coming on strong in the ratings race.

The results showed that KHQ has a large and apparently loyal audience of older viewers. But KREM in particular has increased its audience by attracting a greater share of the “baby boomers” – those in the 25 to 49 age group who make up the biggest single segments of the population.

The February Arbitron results have led to some speculation recently among those involved in the local broadcast industry that KHQ – in an effort to attract a more youthful audience and, station management hopes, reassert its dominance of the local news hour – is attempting to change its image.

“One way to do that, certainly, is to change the faces,” Goodspeed said.

Mell refused to discuss the long-range plans of the station’s news department.

“I’m not willing to concede anything” concerning gains by KREM and KXLY in recent ratings surveys, he said. “We’ve been No. 1 for as long as I’ve been here and we intend to remain No. 1.”

Goodspeed said she would prefer to remain in the Northwest, specifically Spokane, and that she would like to find work in broadcast journalism.

“I need to sit back for a week or so and contemplate my future,” Goodspeed said. “Change is always painful and this is certainly no exception.”

Wednesday, July 25, 1984

From → KHQ

One Comment
  1. Leigh Hess permalink

    Wow. ‘Nuff said.


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