For those of you who missed it, Channel 6's Wednesday night sendoff for "retiring" anchor Pat Persaud—the final installment, that is—was about as forced as one might expect, given that hardly anyone seemed to genuinely care that she was departing.
The last stanza began five or ten minutes into the newscast, as had episodes one and two on Monday and Tuesday. Surprisingly, there were no tears, save for those Queen Pat shed at a newsroom gathering taped earlier in the day. Footage of that scene looked like something straight out of NBC's "The Office," with seven or eight staffers standing in a semi-circle outside their cubicles and looking both uncomfortable and only mildly interested. Less enthusiastic clapping you've never seen.
Meanwhile, back in the studio, as two or three uncredited staff members schlepped in balloons, Pat's longtime co-anchor, John Knicely spent an awkward minute or so babbling about Pat's upbringing (daughter of a Lutheran minister, of Indian descent, immigrated from Guyana when she was eight) and struggling mightily to say something nice about her. As he remarked that the influence of her family was clear, Pat interrupted, saying "I think I had a little something to do with that." We still don't know what she meant by it, but it appeared to be an attempt to make sure that no one else got credit for her accomplishments. It was one of the broadcast's strangest exchanges.
Shortly thereafter, Knicely summoned Pat's husband, Fremont dentist Lumir John Drahota, and their two kids, Zachary and Megan, in from an adjoining studio. The trio ambled in uncomfortably, eventually taking meteorologist Jim Flowers' seat next to Pat, where they stayed—without uttering so much as a word—for the remainder of the program. We're props again, they must've been thinking to themselves.
The presentation of gifts included Knicely giving Pat the box she had stood on whenever she was photographed next to him over the years, a cake from sports anchor Dave Webber, and a framed carricature of the SixNews anchor team. Predictably, Pat giggled a lot, in lieu of coherent remarks.
Thus ended the Persaud era at Channel 6.
Tracy Madden takes over Thursday evening.
Long live the new queen.