He did not quit, veteran television anchorman Kent Dana said Wednesday.
"Let's just say I was told I wouldn't be renewed," said Dana, whose 25-year stint with KPNX-TV (Channel 12) ended Tuesday.
He disputed the explanation of Channel 12's president and general manager, John Misner, who said Dana "elected to leave the station" and sign on with competitor KPHO-TV (Channel 5).
Misner told the anchor Tuesday that his previous night's broadcast had been his last, Dana said.
His contract with Channel 12 wasn't over until Oct. 3, but he said Misner told him the station was ready to "move on."
Misner stood by his statements that the departure was Dana's decision.
"Obviously I can't comment on the correspondence from his lawyer," Misner said. "But it was clear that he listened to and accepted an offer from Channel 5."
Dana said Channel 5 made an offer, but he had not spoken to the CBS affiliate in weeks, nor had he accepted it. He told Channel 12 he didn't need them to match Channel 5’s offer, which was higher, but he wanted more.
"I felt it was significant that someone else in this market had valued me enough to make such a offer," Dana said. "But I wanted to stay at 12."
It was only after the meeting with Misner that he called Channel 5 and told the station he would accept their offer.
"We had hoped he would stay," Misner said. "I'm personally very fond of Kent. I respect his work greatly."
The 62-year-old anchor said there were no hard feelings about leaving.
"They have handled this very well in letting me tape the goodbye and throwing a party for me," he said.
Channel 5 representatives could not be reached Wednesday night.