Sarah Gardner, a member of the KCRA anchor stable since 1993, is leaving the station after she and management failed to come to an agreement on a new contract. Her last day is Dec. 28.
Gardner has been an 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 as an anchor on Channel 3.
“We had hoped that Sarah would stay, but she decided for personal and professional reasons to move on,” says 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 declined to discuss her negotiations with the station.
She did say that she will miss working at KCRA, but needed to make the decision for the sake of her family. She has a son with autism, and she and her husband, Chuck, helped co-found the M.I.N.D. Institute at UC Davis Medical Center. The M.I.N.D. 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 says. "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 says, "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."
News director Anzio Williams says others on the staff will fill in. "We have a lot of folks with talent," Williams says. "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 says 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 says. "We certainly have a strong team of on-air people to continue doing what they do best."