ABC 7 sacks Mark Giangreco for ‘ditzy, combative’ comment about Cheryl Burton

Mark Giangreco

Mark Giangreco officially finished his 27-12 months operate as the major sporting activities anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 Friday with a settlement on the remaining 18 months of his contract and a farewell memo from management.

His dismissal adopted a grievance by ABC 7 information anchor Cheryl Burton that Giangreco referred to her on the air as an individual who could “play the ditzy, combative interior decorator” on a hypothetical do-it-your self demonstrate.

It’s not likely those words alone would have cost Giangreco his task, but in mild of his disciplinary report that incorporated 3 prior suspensions for feedback or tweets deemed inappropriate, the newest incident proved deadly in the present-day company local climate, according to all accounts.

Cheryl Burton

Giangreco, 68, experienced been on administrative depart considering that that broadcast January 28. Until now ABC 7 would not comment on the absence of its No. 1 sportscaster from Chicago’s prime-rated newscast.

Conditions of Giangreco’s separation ended up not disclosed, but his firing ends one of the longest and most productive operates of any athletics anchor in Chicago. Each individual ABC 7 newscast he appeared on was No. 1 in the scores.

John Loafer, president and common supervisor of ABC 7, verified Giangreco’s exit in an email to personnel that did not tackle the motive for his termination. “Mark Giangreco, who has been as influential on the Chicago sports scene as the athletes he’s lined, is moving on to a new chapter,” Loafer wrote. “I want to thank Mark for his lots of contributions to ABC 7 and our viewers. I’m certain you will all sign up for me in wishing him the really most effective.”

The e-mail also incorporated a assertion attributed to Giangreco: “It’s been a good run. Performing at Chicago’s major station, in the country’s biggest sports city with some of the most effective men and women in the organization, would be a fantastic trifecta for any sports anchor. I have had all that and far more. But I guarantee you I’m nevertheless going to be possessing exciting accomplishing other issues. I want to specially thank my colleagues at ABC 7. You have made this these types of an incredible experience. I’m deeply grateful to all of you.”

Loafer, Giangreco and his agent, Joel Weisman, would not react to requests for comment Friday. The settlement is presumed to include things like a nondisclosure agreement.

A native of Buffalo, New York, and graduate of the College of Dayton, Giangreco joined ABC 7 in 1994 following 12 years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. He was lured by a five-12 months, $5 million guaranteed contract that made him the optimum paid out sporting activities anchor in the current market.

Mark Giangreco and Janet Davies

For 20 decades Giangreco also co-hosted ABC 7’s best-rated New Year’s Eve countdown clearly show with Janet Davies. Tuning in for their good-natured banter and awkward smooch at midnight became an annual ritual for hundreds and a social media touchstone. Past month Davies declared that her deal was not renewed right after 37 years at ABC 7.

Donning irreverence and sarcasm as comfortably as his personalized fits, Giangreco was identified for opinions that from time to time went as well much. A succession of bosses understood that a significant component of Giangreco’s attractiveness was his impertinent attitude and once in a while sharp tongue. If he sometimes crossed the line, they figured, it was an acceptable chance.

Till January 28.

A recording of the 10 p.m. newscast that night confirmed Giangreco wrapping up a tale about Canadian hockey star Spencer Jenkin painting his household whilst on roller skates and stating: “Gotta get him a present on Do-it-yourself Community. We’ll phone it ‘House Correct with Sticks,’ and Cheryl can engage in the ditzy, combative interior decorator. I acquired it all worked out.”

Colleagues said Burton had felt disrespected by Giangreco for decades and took his “ditzy, combative” joke as a different particular slight. Irrespective of whether intended or not, directing these phrases at her evoked sexist and racist stereotypes about Black girls, they reported.

Burton, 58, who joined ABC 7 in 1992 and anchors the station’s 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts, did not reply to a ask for for remark.

Last 7 days Burton tweeted: “#ThankfulThursday. Grateful for the #Blessings by now on the way and for those unseen #Religion. God is so Good!!! #ThankYou,” and followed that with: “#HappyBirthday Chicago — 184 many years celebrating the most lovely town in the planet, wherever I was born and lifted and in which my dreams came legitimate! I love you Chicago #Grateful.”

The breakup does not have an effect on Giangreco’s ongoing part as a contributor to Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s afternoon show on Superior Karma Makes ESPN athletics/talk WMVP 1000-AM. Now that he’s a totally free agent, Giangreco may perhaps search to increase his radio routines or go after other platforms.

Jim Rose

He’s still slated for induction afterwards this 12 months in the Silver Circle of Chicago Television Academy, an marketplace honor typically attended by the recipients’ companies and co-personnel. In 2013 Giangreco won the prestigious Ring Lardner Award for Excellence in Athletics Journalism.

Odds-on favorite to exchange Giangreco on the 10 p.m. newscast is Jim Rose, 67, who’s been a athletics anchor at ABC 7 since 1982. Rose signed a a few-12 months agreement renewal in September. Coincidentally, Rose and Burton had been married from 1986 to 1995.

Right here is the whole textual content of Idler’s e-mail to team:

I have some news I would like to share about a longtime member of the ABC 7 household. Mark Giangreco, who has been as influential on the Chicago sports activities scene as the athletes he’s covered, is transferring on to a new chapter. During his vocation, Mark has been there and finished that’ masking day-to-day highlights and championship enjoy for every key sports activities franchise in this town. He has been broadly identified for reporting athletics with equally enthusiasm and insight. I want to thank Mark for his many contributions to ABC 7 and our viewers. I’m positive you will all join me in wishing him the very ideal.

Down below is a observe Mark wanted me to share.

Expensive colleagues and close friends,

It’s been a excellent operate. Performing at Chicago’s leading station, in the country’s biggest sports town with some of the ideal people today in the organization, would be a great trifecta for any sports activities anchor. I’ve had all that and much more. But I guarantee you I’m however likely to be having pleasurable accomplishing other items. I want to specially thank my colleagues at ABC 7. You have manufactured this these types of an unbelievable experience. I’m deeply grateful to all of you.

Cheryl Scott, Alan Krashesky, Cheryl Burton and Mark Giangreco


Amelia J. Bell

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