The clock is ticking toward July 31, the day her five-year contract expires, but Chrys Peterson's fingernails are showing no signs of nervous nibbling.
She is reasonably sure that she'll still be at WTOL-TV, Channel 11, in August.
"My desire is to stay," she said. "And they have indicated to me that they'd like for me to stay."
Still, no contract has been signed. And she doesn't see herself agreeing to a multiyear deal until the station hires a permanent news director. John Butte has been the acting news director since C.J. Beutien resigned in early April.
Beutien, who had been at the station for nearly 11 years, hired Peterson in 1994 and, by all accounts, they had a great working relationship. He is now the news director at WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill.
In January, Beutien had no doubts that Peterson would sign another contract with WTOL. He put the chances at "100 percent."
His departure makes things seem a little less certain. When asked last week to give an updated percentage, Peterson said she couldn't do it without knowing who her boss is going to be.
Suffice to say, WTOL general manager Bob Chirdon has an important decision to make. Peterson is arguably the most popular television personality in Toledo.
Chirdon may or may not have a permanent news director in place by July 31. If he doesn't, Peterson said she might ask to work on a month-to-month contract, assuming WTOL was willing to do so.
"If it comes down to that, and we're both working in good faith toward an agreement, I think that's possible," she said.
Chirdon declined comment.
How likely is it that Peterson will sign a multiyear contract without a permanent news director in place? "It would be very difficult to do that without knowing who my boss was going to be," she said. "The person who has that position is part of my day-to-day life in a very big way."
It's possible that the word "acting" will be removed from Butte's current title. Peterson said if that happens, she would like to sit down with him and find out more about his management style.
"So far, John and I have gotten along really well," she said. "He's in a tough situation. It's hard to put your brand on the newsroom, knowing that you may not be there very long."
At age 39, this could be considered the prime of Peterson's professional career. The same opportunities that are currently available may not be there in five years.
"This contract will be a big commitment for me," she said. "Even though 44 isn't what it once was, it's still 44 -- especially in TV."
Peterson said she has been contacted by industry "headhunters" to see if she would be interested in exploring anchoring opportunities elsewhere. She said she listened to what they had to say, but it hasn't gone beyond the initial-inquiry phase.
Would she consider an offer from another Toledo station? "I would never say 'never,' but I've got a lot invested in WTOL," she said. "If I felt that WTOL didn't want me, I might feel differently."