FTVLive FIRST told you back in March, that WGRZ Anchor Scott Levin was leaving the Tegna station to go sell cars.
Levin is leaving after the May book and he says the way the business has changed, he thinks it's a good time to walk. "I thought I would be in the business forever," said Levin as he sat at the kitchen table of his large Clarence home next to his wife Lisa. "But the business changed. And sometimes you have to re-evaluate your life. If I didn't make a change now, I probably never would. I would be stuck. Through a lot of prayer and conversations with my wife, we made the decision. I knew it was the right time."
Just a few months short of his 20th anniversary at the Tegna station, Levin is leaving to pursue a career at West Herr Automotive Group that he hopes will eventually lead to his becoming a general manager of one of its dealerships.
The Buffalo News writes that Levin began exploring a move to the auto group about 14 months ago, but he and West Herr president Scott Bieler both doubted he was mentally ready to leave television. The conversations about becoming one of more than 50 finance managers at West Herr's 23 dealerships heated up about four months ago as Levin's TV contract neared its end in July.
Levin told co-anchor Maryalice Demler privately about his exit plans after an 11 p.m. newscast before word leaked out. He said she was upset.
"We chatted for about three hours," said Levin. "We were real honest with each other, talking about the pressures and changes of the business. We've been successful partners for so long. A news anchor team, the chemistry has to be there. You can't fake it."
Levin said news of his exit led to an outpouring of praise from the community.
"I had no clue," said Levin. "The outpouring from the community has been overwhelming … I always loved it when people would come up and say nice things to me. Now it is times 10. I had no idea what kind of relationship I really had with my viewers until this."
But he also has seen the changes in TV news. Levin turns serious when discussing the scariest changes facing broadcasting.
"The scariest change is seeing viewership beginning to slip in broadcasting and going to other forms of media," said Levin. "I worry about the future of broadcast news."
And after looking at what Tegna is doing at some of their stations, so do we Scott, so do we.