PORTLAND, Maine — This is a strange goodbye for me because I'm not leaving the building, I'm just moving to a new set: the 6 p.m. news.
Also, the four years I've spent on 207, while incredibly rewarding and educational, are nothing compared to Rob's nearly 20 years on the show.
As a girl who grew up in Maine, I can remember my first interview at this station. I was in the office with our executive producer at the time and she asked me what channel my family and I watched.
"Be honest," she said.
I was. I responded, "I don't think you understand, I'm kind of freaking out that Rob Caldwell is sitting right outside your door."
Rob, Cindy, Pat, Don, Lee, and Sharon were all people had I seen from my living room for many years.
Once I joined Rob on set, he became a lot more than a coworker, he became a good friend. Working beside him for years, getting script approval through him, and bouncing ideas off of him have all made me a better journalist.
I'm so thankful to you — the viewers — who have allowed me into your homes, into your businesses, and into your lives, and who have trusted me to tell your stories. There are many people over the years who have also become friends through interviews.
I worked in news for 10 years before I moved onto this show, and I never had more people stop to talk to me about a story than when I joined 207. That means something. Our viewers really care and really pay attention to what we do on our show. That means something to us.
Further proof of that came when I was preparing to sleep in a kennel with a dog as part of a fundraiser for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. I got a special message from Michael and Paula, who had just lost their rescue dog, Daisy. They wanted to tell me that because of our show, because of the places and people in Maine that we were highlighting, they started taking Thursday road trips to visit some of those spots during the pandemic.
It had become such a part of their lives, and the fact that we had a part in that means so much to me.
I promise to continue some of that storytelling, just in a new timeslot. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives every day, truly. It's an honor.
Amanda's final 207 show is Friday at 7 p.m. on NEWS CENTER Maine.