Longtime KEYE anchor Fred Cantu, who many in the Austin area know simply as “Uncle Fred,” is now working in the hardware department of a local Home Depot following his exit from the CBS-Telemundo station last December.
“People think about this as a step down, but I don’t think of it that way,” Cantu said in a recent interview with the Austin American-Statesman. “I think of it as part of the ride. Some people end at the top. It’s just that some people think the roller coaster always goes up. And who knows, the roller coaster may go up again. And as long as I’m still on the ride, I’m happy.”
Cantu has spent three decades working in radio and TV in Austin. Before joining KEYE in 2002, he worked as an anchor at KTBC and KVUE. In an annual Austin Chronicle readers poll, Cantu was named “Best News Anchor” every year from 2003 to 2006.
According to the Statesman:
Fred left KEYE last year. He has no pension, and at 56 he’s too young for Social Security. He was living off the CBS stock he was given when he worked at KEYE. His wife, Laura, is in a wheelchair with polio. He needed to make some dough.
In addition to his new job at Home Depot, Cantu recently got back on the air for KEYE, filling in at the morning anchor desk as the station looks for a replacement for Erika Gonzalez, who left in October.
Here’s Cantu talking about his new job and how he sees himself as a “poster child for the over-qualified”…
[h/t Mike McGuff]