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Anchor Sarah Gardner to leave KCRA

By Sam McManis -

Published 11:28 am PST Thursday, December 20, 2007

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Sarah Gardner, a member of the anchor stable at Channel 3 since 1993, is leaving the station Dec. 28 after she and KCRA failed to come to an agreement on a new contract.

Gardner has been the anchor on "KCRA News at 10" on sister station My58TV for the past few years and, since the departure last year of anchor John Alston, has filled in anchoring on Channel 3.

"We had hoped that Sarah would stay, but she decided for personal and professional reasons to move on," said Elliott Troshinsky, president and general manager of Channel 3 and My58TV. "We couldn't reach an agreement that was satisfactory to both of us. We wish her all the best in the future."

Gardner said she will miss working at KCRA but needed to make the decision for the sake of her family. She has a son diagnosed with autism, and she and her husband, Chuck, helped co-found the MIND Institute at the UC Davis Medical Center. The MIND Institute studies the causes and helps in treatment of autism.

"I love KCRA and love my job, getting to work with incredibly talented people," she said. "But it was one of those things where I wanted to make sure to give 100 percent to my family and 100 percent to my job, and the way things are now, it's impossible to do both."

Asked if Gardner sought a "flexible" schedule, Troshinsky said, "I don't know what her reasons are for deciding this wasn't right for her. But I respect her and like her. I only wish her the best."

Gardner declined to discuss her negotiations with the station.

Channel 3 is already down an anchor after Alston's departure in November 2006. News director Anzio Williams said others on the staff will fill in. "We have a lot of folks with talent," Williams said. "You'll be seeing more of Kevin Riggs and Pam Wu."

As for the long term, Troshinsky would not say when the two anchor positions would be filled. In January, Teo Torres will join the 10 p.m. newscast on My58TV, but Troshinsky said he is not a replacement for Alston.

"We do have a plan that will unfold over the next several months, but I'm not going to talk about it," Troshinsky said. "We certainly have a strong team of on-air people to continue doing what they do best."

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