Long-time KYW traffic anchor, Tom Collins, has departed company with Metro Networks. Collins, anchor of the weeknight shift of six o'clock to midnight, worked on-air for KYW the past twelve or thirteen years and was last heard on-air November 20th.
Word has it that conditions at Metro Traffic are as bad as ever. Recent pay cuts were followed by additional company imposed "time give backs" where employees have been forced to give up the equivalent of three days compensation to be paid back by the company early next year. Apparently, the company is in serious financial distress making the latest employee contributions a necessity. Ongoing conditions remain of "more work and not enough people to do it effectively", I'm told. The producer and anchor pool is as scarce as ever -- making it difficult to cover vacations and call-outs. So far, I've heard weekender's RJ McKay and Eric Herr covering the open shift with no word on when it will be filled.
Metro has seen several traffic veterans come and go over the last few years including Lorraine Renalli, Dorothy Krysiuk, John Valario, Rod Carson, Tom MacDonald, Deborah Byrne, Matt Tacha, Mary Cantell and Brian Ramona. Renalli continues to promote her book, "Gravy Wars"; Krysiuk remains unemployed; Valario can be heard most nights anchoring at KYW newsradio; Carson works part-time at the PennDot Traffic Control Center; and no word on the latest doings of MacDonald, Byrne, Tacha, Cantell or Ramona.
I'm told Collins took an opportunity to utilize his talents with the folks at PennDot's Traffic Control Center.