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Saying goodbye: Rebecca Miller gets some well-deserved last words

By ED BARK (on behalf of Rebecca Miller)
Pardon Rebecca Miller for having quite a bit on her mind of late -- as well as a previous commitment that says a lot about her character and class under duress.

But she at last found time Thursday night to write her own goodbye to the many who have watched and relied on her early morning forecasts for NBC5. Miller joined the station in 1991, and clearly is ending her career on a higher note than those who fired her. This email to unclebarky.com arrived at 9:14 p.m. and appears here in its entirety:

"I sincerely apologize for not getting to you until now. Yesterday, I found out the station had decided not to renew my contract. Today, I met with Human Resources.

"But long ago, I had promised a friend I would help him today create a giant birthday cake for his daughter. We started shortly after noon, and we just finished at 8:15 p.m. I couldn't tell him, 'Let's do this another day.' How many birthdays do you get when you're 8? Anyway, I'm free and clear now, so I just sat down to catch up. My computer keyboard is covered with icing, but it smells good.

"I am incredibly touched by every single email, viewer response and reader response I have read on your site. The comments I read literally take my breath away. For several years now, my boss has told me that she simply doesn't understand the forecast when I'm on TV. To hear so, so many wonderful comments makes me realize maybe other people did understand my forecast after all.

"The horrible thing about having to leave so abruptly is not getting the chance to say goodbye to viewers or even to my co-workers. There were viewers who emailed me every single day that I will never get a chance to say 'thank you' to -- and that hurts.

"My co-workers know how much I loved working with them. Getting up at 2 a.m. is grueling. Working on the air non-stop from 4:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. without a breakfast break, without a bathroom break (you had to run in between commercials) is incredibly hard. But working with the morning crew made every day fun. We had a great time on the morning shift.

"The producers I worked with these last few years are simply fantastic. They made work fun for me, too, even though they are under immense pressure. Of course, I cannot say enough great things about Brendan (Higgins), Tammy (Dombeck) and Deborah (Ferguson). What a great team they are. We are all friends outside of work, so we will continue to see each other. From the people on the floor crew to the people behind the scenes, I will miss them all -- well, most of them.

"When TV stations decide on changes, the public never knows the real reasons behind the change. Most times, neither do we. What I know is that our morning ratings go up and down, and no one can really figure out why. A year ago we were doing well, and now we're not. My news director (Susan Tully) has decided I'm just not what she wants, and replacing me is one way to try and boost ratings. I've known it for some time now, and I've been planning for it. Things like this happen in TV all the time. A manager comes and wants her own team in place.

"I really loved working in TV, loved helping the public, loved doing stories on the zoo and the 'Going Green' stories I got to do. But if it's not in the cards to continue to serve the public through TV, I'll find something that makes me happy. I'm currently enrolled at Texas A&M's grad school studying Homeland Security. So maybe if TV doesn't work out, that will. Everything has a silver lining.

So, I have very, very fond memories of NBC, and I always will. I hope this will be the beginning of something new and better for me! Thanks for everything!


And now here's the frosting on the cake -- the cake that Rebecca Miller worked on virtually all day Thursday -- the day after she got fired. Sometimes pIctures really do say a thousand words. And by the way, "it's supposed to be all crooked," Miller says.