Monday, July 24, 2000 | 11:07 a.m.
KVVU Channel 5 News Director Gwen Castaldi has announced that she will resign from the department she helped launch more than two years ago.
"I cried some tears," Castaldi said this morning, "but there comes a point in time when we need to make those decisions. FOX5 has treated me wonderfully."
The 48-year-old newswoman, who has been reporting in Las Vegas since 1974 and was a longtime anchor at KVBC Channel 3, said that her resignation will be effective Aug. 8.
"I'm trying to finish up some loose ends. I want to leave it as organized as possible," she said.
FOX5 News debuted in June 1998 as a local half-hour program that aired at 10 p.m. nightly. It has expanded to include three daily newscasts.
In a prepared statement, Vice President and General Manager Rusty Durante said, "Gwen will be sorely missed -- but never forgotten. Without her leadership and unwavering energy and devotion to her position and personnel, we would never have been able to expand FOX5 ... All of us here at FOX5 wish her nothing but the best."
Channel 5 spokeswoman Laura Denue said that the station has "definite plans" that will be implemented after Castaldi's departure but could not release details yet.
Castaldi said that she and her husband have been pondering the decision for several months.
"I want to look forward to the next phase of my life," she said. "The groundwork is laid (at FOX5), phase one is done. It's been a long two years. I've been dedicated to working on this start-up."
Now, she said, it is time "to re-align my life."
"Sometimes personal plans really have to take precedence over what you're doing now," she said. "Money and the job ended up not being as important as what am I going to do with the rest of my life.
"Nothing is etched in stone. I have ideas for some projects," she said. "There are a bunch of possibilities."