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This Just In: July 16 - 23

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The Goodbye Guy

Summary: Our beloved public-works director announces his resignation. Reporter: Timyka Artist, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 41 seconds on July 10 Visuals: * The reporter colloquially known as "Tiki" probing Costa on the streets of Squirrel Hill with a WPXI mike.  Highlights: * When anchor David Johnson announces, "A big shake-up in Pittsburgh's government!" And, as film rolls of Costa literally descending stairs -- in two different locations, no less -- he adds, "The man who's been responsible for taking care of city streets and parks is stepping down after a decade on the job." * When Artist speaks with breathless desperation, as though Costa were actually leaving town that very second: "The surprise news came today from the mayor's office just moments ago. We came out to Squirrel Hill to talk to Guy Costa at his home. He just spoke with me. He says that this is something he has been thinking about for a very, very long time. In fact, he turned that letter over to the mayor on Wednesday and the mayor accepted his resignation. ... He says that he has truly enjoyed working for the city of Pittsburgh, but he says after 10 years of what he calls a 'roller-coaster ride,' he says it is now time for a new ride. He also says that after being diagnosed with cancer three years ago, he now has a whole new perspective on life. Take a listen." * When Costa, who is scratching his elbow throughout the interview, divulges, "When I was diagnosed with this tumor a few years ago, it put a whole new perspective on life for me, and this is part of the reason that I think I just need to make [a] change. ... You know, I'm 53 years old -- hopefully I can get one more career." * When Artist reports, "Well, as for what that one more career might be, we did ask him specifically about rumors that he may be planning to run for mayor.  He told me that right now he has no political aspirations." What We Learned: To gird our loins for the countless Costa interviews to come ...Unanswered Question: There was someone in charge of taking care of our streets?!? News Value: 3. I'm sure people are interested, but there's no need to be manic about it. It's the classic Costa interview, in which he repeats the same thing over and over, and really never says anything. After Artist's breathless synopsis of this man's career with the city, essentially telling us everything we need to know, I'm not even sure what the purpose of the interview was.

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