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68-year old Mark Giangreco, a sports anchor for ABC 7, has been off the air for the past five-weeks following a joke he made about a colleague on the air that was in terrible taste. He has been with ABC 7 since 1994 and is believed to be the highest-paid local sportscaster in America.
What did Giangreco Say?
Giangreco reported a video of a hockey player sanding drywall with the end of his hockey stick and shooting a puck into a garbage can with the blade end. He said:
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.
Burton complained to management, and a separation agreement is being worked out with ABC 7 and Giangreco. He also has not made his regular appearances on ESPN 1000.
Comparisons of Dan McNeil’s tweet about sports reporter Maria Taylor and Giangreco’s comments note that his comments fall short of McNeil’s offense level. The point here is that any level of offense is offensive.
Cheryl Burton is a prime-time anchor on ABC 7, and she has been with the network much longer than him, having joined in 1992. The Sun-Times report that this is not Giangreco’s first shot taken at Burton.
There has been ill-feeling between Giangreco and Burton for years, which seems to have been the last straw for Burton. Other co-workers of his have expressed that past similar remarks have been brushed off as playful.
With a little over a year left on his most recent contract, it is safe to say that some buyout is soon for him.
Written By Omari Jahi
MSN: Chicago sports anchor Mark Giangreco might be done after an on-air joke about colleague Jay Rigdon
Chicago Tribune: Mark Giangreco is in limbo at ABC-7 after the sportscaster’s on-air line about casting anchor Cheryl Burton as a ‘ditzy, combative’ reality TV character, PHIL ROSENTHAL
Daily Herald: Feder: Will Mark Giangreco ever return to ABC 7? Robert Feder
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