Now it can be told: Veteran Chicago sports anchor Mark Giangreco may be on the verge of losing his job at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 because he used the word “ditzy” in an on-air comment about news anchor Cheryl Burton.
ABC 7 bosses, Giangreco and his agent continue to stonewall on his unexplained absence for the last five weeks, but multiple sources confirmed Wednesday he’s under fire for a remark at the end of his sports segment January 28.
A recording of the 10 p.m. newscast that night showed Giangreco wrapping up a story about Canadian hockey star Spencer Jenkin painting his house while on roller skates and saying: “Gotta get him a show on DIY Network. We’ll call it ‘House Fix with Sticks,’ and Cheryl can play the ditzy, combative interior decorator. I got it all worked out.”
Sources said Burton complained to management about Giangreco’s comment, resulting in his suspension. Talks are said to be under way that could lead to his termination after 27 years as the station’s top sports anchor. Giangreco has 18 months left on his contract.
Burton, who joined ABC 7 in 1992, anchors the station’s top-rated 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Alan Krashesky. Burton did not respond to a request for comment.