Four years ago Elsa Ramon joined KCBS-KCAL in Los Angeles full of hope and excitement about the future.
Now, after developing a bond with Southern California viewers, and covering everything from brush fires to earthquakes, she decided to leave television news.
Ramon left her position as weekend evening anchor and weekday reporter at the CBS-owned duopoly on May 23.
“It’s a dying business,” she told Urban Hollywood 411 as she shared her thoughts on the television news industry and her future career plans.
While not yet ready to reveal where she is going, she said her new position is in the digital world.
“It does have to do with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency,” she said in a telephone interview. “I still had a year left on my contract, so it was really good of my bosses to let me pursue this other opportunity.”
Ramon graduated from the University of California, Irvine and interned at KCBS. She went on to work as an anchor-reporter at television stations in Palm Springs, Monterey, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio.
The opportunity to return to Los Angeles came in August 2014, when she joined KCBS-KCAL.
Over time, she realized shift work and the long hours were taking time away from her two children.
“I was the weekend anchor, weekday reporter, single mom. It just wasn’t working for my family,” she explained.
There were also financial costs, she said.
“Working nights, it cost me more to be on that schedule than what I was paid,” Ramon said. “I spent a fortune on sitters, on my nanny. I just kind of felt like the madness had to stop.”
While many people think of major market newscasters as highly-compensated celebrities, Ramon noted that’s not always the case.
“It depends on what company you’re working for. I know the salaries aren’t what they used to be in television news,” she said. “We also live in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive places to live in the country, and I’m a single mom.”
Pressed as to whether she ever asked for a raise, she said her representatives did just that last summer.
“When my contract came up last August, when I was renewed, we thought we would be able to negotiate a raise,” she noted. “But the company gave no one raises at all. At that point, that’s when I realized that it seems to me that flat is the new raise, and that just wasn’t good enough for me and my family.”
She decided to consider other opportunities.
“It became my responsibility to start looking elsewhere and seeing what else I could do to better my situation,” she said. “I needed to make sure I got an opportunity that did pay me much more than I was making.”
Ramon is the second weekend anchor to leave KCBS-KCAL in a matter of weeks. Andrea Fujii said goodbye to the station in April after her husband, Whit Johnson, joined ABC News as a correspondent in New York.
Weeknight anchor Rick Garcia has also been missing from the air for several weeks. According to published reports, he was suspended in March. When contacted about Garcia’s status at the station on Tuesday, May 29, Mike Nelson, senior vice president of communications for CBS Television Stations, declined comment.
As for Ramon, she said she is proud of the work she did at KCBS-KCAL.
“I did my absolute best every day that I was there and I feel good, knowing that I rose to every challenge. I built up credibility and gained the respect of our viewers who turned to us for knowledge and information,” she said.
Ramon added that she is thankful for the opportunity to have worked at the station.
“Every opportunity opens doors to other opportunities,” she explained. “If I didn’t have the opportunity at CBS, this opportunity would not have opened up. I’m totally grateful for that.”