When KTRK announced that Dave Ward would be retiring from the station, it was presented as a feel good story.
The Anchor that is in the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest TV news Anchor at one station was wrapping up a long career.
But now the truth comes out.
Ward was pushed.
"My contract with Channel 13 expires at the end of this year, and that's when I'll say goodbye," Ward said.
"But, no, I am definitely not retiring."
Ward said that KTRK management has invited him to stay with the station through 2017.
It was an offer he couldn't accept, Ward said.
"They took me off the 10 p.m. newscast two years ago. They were taking me off the 6 p.m. news at the end of this year. So I would not have an anchor role anymore."
With no anchor duties, Ward said he felt like Channel 13 was showing him the door.
"They seemed like they really wanted me to make my exit. I always thought I would continue to anchor the news at Channel 13 until I thought I couldn't do the job anymore. I'm not there yet. My research is very good, and our ratings are very good. They won't give me an answer why I'm being taken off the 6 p.m. news."
According to Ward, if he stayed with Channel 13, he would "maybe host the Livestock Show and Rodeo parade or the July 4 fireworks. That just didn't interest me at all.
"Essentially, I would have nothing to do here. I thought it would be better for me to separate from the station. Then I could do some commercial work and freelance, maybe some documentary work."
KTRK president Henry Florsheim said he still hopes an agreement can be reached for Ward to stay with the station beyond this year.
"Dave is always welcome at the station, and there is always a role for Dave on the air. We can't wait to celebrate his 50 years of service with us. I don't know if anybody has ever done that, and we want to celebrate his success," Florsheim said.
"Dave is part of the fabric of the station. We'd love to work out a way for him to stay."
Ward said he will be free to join another TV station after his current contract expires Dec. 31.
"I don't see myself doing that, but who knows? You never know. Never say never."
What would he say if another station called and asked him to anchor one of its newscasts?
"Sure, of course!"
Oh boy...this could get interesting....