Maria Antonia, one of the most-liked and respected colleagues at KMBC-TV during a career that spanned 28 years with the Hearst-owned ABC affiliate, will be leaving the station effective today, sources have told Bottom Line Communications.
Antonia, who has been a general assignment reporter and fill in anchor at KMBC and a volunteer with the Bishop Sullivan Center in Kansas City for years, is reportedly taking a new position with the organization.
Known for her signature signoffs accentuating her Cuban heritage, Antonia is married to veteran KMBC photojournalist Tim Twyman. He is remaining with the station.
During her career Antonia worked at radio and television stations in Miami, Little Rock and New Haven following graduation from the University of Miami before joining KMBC-TV in 1984.
In March 2003, she took local reporting to a new level when she covered the initial stages of the war in Iraq from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. In 1998, she was the only local reporter allowed into Cuba to cover the Papal visit by Pope John Paul II.
During her near-three decade career Antonia (Maria Albisu-Twyman) earned numerous professional awards, including five Emmys and three regional Edward R. Murrow awards. She has received awards from the Missouri Broadcasters association, Association of News Broadcasters of Kansas and the Kansas City Press Club.
Antonia has been extremely active in the community and has won numerous awards including The Heart of Gold Award from the YWCA, a Leadership Award from the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Community and a National Award from the National Bone Marrow Registry, for raising awareness about transplants and the need for donors, She has volunteered for years with the her time to help organizations such as the Bishop Sullivan Center and Cristo Rey High School. She is also the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Kansas/Western Missouri March of Dimes, WalkAmerica.
Antonia was also part of a 2008 lawsuit filed by three veteran female on-air personalities at KMBC charging the station with age and sex discrimination. The lawsuit was filed by Kelly Eckerman, Peggy Breit and Antonia. The suit was settled amicably in 2010.