A longtime Syracuse Anchor is taking a big pay cut and moving down to the Reporter ranks, but she wants you to know that it was absolutely her idea and none one else.
Longtime WSYR Anchor Carrie Lazarus is leaving the Anchor desk and has already been replaced.
With her contract at Channel 9 about to expire, Lazarus said she pitched an idea that would allow her to "step out from behind the anchor desk to be where the news happens" and have a more flexible schedule.
"It was absolutely my idea," she said.
While some might think money was the deciding factor, Lazarus says that's not the case.
"I can say with 100 percent honesty and certainty -- and my whole reputation lies on the truth -- that money was not part of the conversation," Lazarus said. "The conversation was all about doing the best for the viewers, the station and I get to keep doing what I love."
Yes, she will make less money when her new contract takes effect Thursday. (She wouldn't say how much she earns.) But Lazarus said that's not why she's stepping down as co-anchor from the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. broadcasts.
"I don't know what it's like to eat dinner at a normal time," she said. "You cannot be a second late for the newscast. I've always watched the clock. I'm ready to take a breath."
Christie Casciano will replace Lazarus as the station's new co-anchor. She currently anchors the station's news at 10 p.m. on digital channel 9.2 and the regular news show at 11 p.m.
In her new role, Lazarus said she will continue to focus on profiles of "Extraordinary People and Places of Central New York" and highlight extraordinary talent each week. She also will have a new show called "The Conversation," comprising more in-depth interviews during the newscast.
"We've become 140 characters on Twitter and 12-second soundbites," she said.
While that's an effective way to quickly share news, Lazarus said she thinks Central New Yorkers also want more depth and meaningful stories.
"Some news stories can't be told in a minute and a half," she said. "I'm talking to people of all walks of life -- young and old -- and I'm giving the viewer the chance to listen in on a conversation with depth."
And remember, she is leaving the Anchor desk to become a Reporter and she is making less money and it is 100% her idea.