A homecoming for the Erickson family means a double loss for Bangor television station WABI.
Both anchor-reporter Amy Erickson and her husband, sports reporter Keith Erickson, are leaving Channel 5 to return to their native state of Massachusetts.
Amy Erickson, who hails from Braintree, Mass., has accepted a job at a public relations firm in Boston and will start Oct. 1. Her last day at WABI will be Sept. 25.
Keith Erickson will stay on at the Bangor CBS affiliate through October to ease the transition and provide enough staffing through the busy fall sports season.
“I’ll probably be around until about November first, is the plan. That seemed the best way to do it,” said the 36-year-old Keith Erickson.
The Ericksons, who will soon celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary, said the decision to leave was difficult, but the timing and chance to move closer to family made the opportunity too good to pass up.
“It’s harder and harder to have the kids away from the grandparents,” said Amy Erickson, who has been with WABI for 11 years. “Our [TV] contracts are up in the fall and this is before the kids start school and get settled in, so the timing was really opportune.”
The Erickson have twins (Aislin and Emma) who will turn 5 in December.
Amy Erickson said having a set work schedule and weekends off is another bonus.
“I never see [Keith] on Fridays the entire fall, so that will be a nice change,” she said.
Keith Erickson, a Rutland, Mass., native, started working at WABI in 1995 after graduating from Syracuse University.
“It’s very tough. We got married here, had our kids here, and made a life here, but family is first,” he said. “I’m just very excited to get recharged around friends and family down there, but I’ll miss a lot about Maine.
“I really want to thank coaches, players, administrators, game wardens and others I’ve talked to all these years. I got to meet lots of great people.”
Erickson hopes to remain in journalism.
“I need to find a job. I’m hoping to land something down there in the next couple weeks,” he said. “I’d love to stay in the business, but if not, hopefully I can freelance or something.
“I’d like to keep working nights so I’ll be around in the day and Amy at night.”
Before coming to WABI, Amy Erickson worked a year at WLNE in Providence, R.I., and three years at WVII (Channel 7) in Bangor.
“It was the hardest decision of my life, but I think it’s a really good fit for me, as much as I love my job,” she said. “I love to write and feel that’s my strong suit, plus I think I’ll still get to do a lot of what I do now.”
Keith Erickson said although he’s heading back to his home state, it’ll take awhile for him to acclimate himself.
“Yeah, it’s weird. It’ll definitely be a little awkward at first, getting used to a new routine,” he said.
Erickson said he would miss Maine people the most.
“I like it when someone just comes up to me and thanks me for a story I did, or tells me they liked it,” he said. “That’s the best part of the job for me.”