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News Chief Resigns at Channel 39

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In a move that apparently surprised most KNSD-TV (Channel 39) employees, Don Shafer resigned Thursday after 18 months as the station’s news director.

Reached at home, Shafer said he was asked to resign. Although he would not comment specifically on the reasons for his sudden departure, Shafer confirmed reports that he had been involved in a long-running conflict with station General Manager Neil Derrough.

“You have to get along with your boss,” Shafer said. “When there is a difference of personalities, something has to give.

“It was time for a change,” he said.

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According to Derrough, the change was made because the newsroom had “gone as far as it could go” under Shafer.

“When you get to the point that a change has to be made, there is no doubt tension develops,” Derrough said, but declined to comment on specifics.

“I think at this point I’m not going to go public with anything on Don, except to say that Don has contributed to making the newsroom a better place,” he said.

Derrough said Assistant News Director Irv Kass has been offered the news directorship.

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