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'Lee Swap' is here to stay; you still get the best of both

It's official. Lee Nelson and Lee Goldberg are switching places. Change is tough, we know, but you're not losing them. The Lees are still here, and this move is precisely what both of them want.

Lee Nelson's message

The No. 1 question when you work this shift: "What time do you get up in the morning?"

And when you answer "2:30 a.m.," the follow-up comment is, "Wow, I don’t know how you do it."

My answer always is: It hurts every day.

So, this morning, Monday, I’m back on the Morning Report. But it's just for this week to say a proper goodbye.

Starting next Monday, April 15, I’ll be doing the 5 p.m. show with Lindsey and Keith, and the noon and 5:30 with my wife Cindy.  Lee Goldberg will be back with Sharon, Todd and you. 

I want to thank all of you who’ve reached out in the last month, saying you hoped I was coming back to the Morning Report. It means a lot. I truly appreciate your loyalty, and I also know that dealing with change can be really hard. Heck, when Sharon and I switched seats a few years ago, there was an outcry, so I understand this won’t sit well with some of you.

But maybe you’ll understand if I explain it this way.

When you come home from work, you eat supper with your spouse and your kids, and maybe you watch some TV and hit the sack. Or, maybe on a Tuesday night, you go out to eat, just for fun. Or you have a Thursday night bowling league. That’s something I’ve never had. My wife comes home from work and I kiss her goodnight.

When my kids were young, I was home with them after school and coached their teams, and that was great, but my kids are out of the house.

I’d like to live a normal life — something I haven’t had since I started this job when I was 26. I’m 56 now.

This was my choice. Not a corporate decision. In fact, I’m so grateful to the powers that be here who are allowing this to happen. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be on the mornings anyway. I would have found something else to do.

Now, Lee Goldberg can be home in the afternoons with his young kids, and I know he’s excited about that. And it's not like I’m leaving; you can see my pretty face every day here at noon, 5 and 5:30 p.m. And, if that’s not convenient for you, well, make it convenient, because I want to keep this relationship going. 😊Thanks.

Lee Goldberg's message

As a kid growing up in Maine my goal in life was to some day work for Channel 6. That dream never left; it stayed with me from Lincoln Junior High School to Deering High School to New England College.

After two-plus years at my first TV job and West Virginia, it was time to come home. I joined NEWS CENTER Maine in August 1993. For the first 26 years of my career, covering games was how I made a living. What could be better than that? The best of all high school sporting events, UMaine, World Series, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, etc.

It was just after covering my seventh Super Bowl that I began to think about a career outside of sports. Maybe there would be an opportunity to switch to “the Dark-side” of news. But there was nowhere to go. I wasn’t ever going to leave NEWS CENTER, and Pat Callaghan handles the nights, Rob Caldwell is a fixture on 207, and Lee Nelson had the mornings covered.

That’s when NOW came to be. It was a conversation over time that led to the launching of an entirely new type of newscast. Fast, fun, positive, interactive; all of the things that had me excited about making the switch. So in March 2017, that’s what I did. Ironically, it was during those conversations that my boss at the time asked me what my ultimate goal was, and I said, someday, when “the other Lee” retires, I would love to do the Morning Report.

Fast forward to more recently. The opportunity to anchor the Morning Report was presented and the best part was my “other Lee” wasn’t going anywhere. It was win-win. He gets to have a normal sleep schedule, and work with his wife for the first time in three decades. And I get to anchor with Sharon — like we first did at WLBZ in the early 90s — and Todd, who was my weekend partner for years.

Get in early, get out early, more time with the kids, to do other things. It was perfect. It got here sooner than I thought it would, but it could not have worked out better.