Kyle Dyer's departing from 9News morning show in station's latest star shuffle

We've been reporting about the sudden exodus of longtime Denver TV news personalities -- and while last week brought news of 7News anchor Mike Landess's impending retirement, most of the action has been at 9News, where veteran entertainment reporter Kirk Montgomery and sportscaster Susie Wargin both announced they're moving on.

Now, following Montgomery's final local broadcast on Friday, 9News morning anchor Kyle Dyer has revealed that she's leaving the program that's topped the ratings throughout her eighteen years on the a.m. broadcast -- but she's not splitting from the outlet entirely.

In a carefully coordinated announcement that suggests an awareness that some viewers may equate her decision with the Montgomery and Wargin moves, Dyer said during this morning's program that beginning in July, she'll no longer anchor her signature broadcast. However, she will helm the 11 a.m. and noon news programs and create pre-recorded reports likely to be screened during her old show.

Dyer stressed in a video package shared below and an essay that appears online that she was offered a new contract to continue anchoring the morning program for the next three years -- but owing to the ages of her young daughters, she decided she wanted to adjust her schedule to allow her to be present for them in the mornings and evenings.

Was this contract offer for a considerably lower amount than she's been making? Dyer doesn't delve into this part of the story, but in an interview last week, Landess told us that "virtually all major talent in all the major markets have taken hits since probably at least 2009. Anytime someone comes up for a contract, they take a hit. All of us have."

Moreover, Dyer's decision to cut back on her hours likely offers some relief to 9News bean counters amid the continuing challenges faced by what are often referred to as "old media" organizations. It's our understanding that Montgomery, at least, was offered the opportunity to stick around if he agreed to work a less-than-full-time schedule; instead, he took a gig at a station in Lansing, Michigan. As for Wargin, she plans to keep her hand in journalism but will mainly be devoting her time to working in real estate.

As for Dyer, she gained national prominence in 2012 after she was bitten in the face by a rescued Argentine Mastiff during an on-air segment that 9News worked overtime to keep off YouTube. (It didn't work; there are oodles of the clips currently available for viewing.) Dyer subsequently conceded on the Today show that the incident had happened due to a mistake on her part -- a laudable admission that did nothing to dim her affection in the eyes of viewers, who cheered her successful efforts to return to the airwaves.

Now, 9News will face the challenge of maintaining its morning viewership supremacy without Dyer, and the signal's got a good track record of managing to do so in other slots. But while Dyer and the station clearly want the shift to be viewed independently, it's hardly taking place in a vacuum.

Continue to see Kyle Dyer's announcement about leaving the 9News morning show in July. Be warned that it's in autoplay mode.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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