Chicago TV sports anchor suspended for anti-Trump tweet
Well-known WLS-Channel 7 sports anchor Mark Giangreco has been suspended by the ABC-owned TV station for an anti-Trump tweet exchange first reported by Chicago City Wire on Feb. 21.
“Mark Giangreco’s Twitter comments are not in line with ABC 7 Chicago’s nonpartisan editorial standards," ABC 7 management said in a prepared statement. "We’ve reviewed the matter and are taking the appropriate action.”
The exchange began when Toronto Star sports columnist Bruce Arthur tweeted, "Donald Trump: a hateful ignorant corrupt simpleton supported by 87 percent of Republicans.”
Giangreco tweeted back, “So obvious, so disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who allowed this cartoon lunatic to be ‘elected.'"
While ABC 7 did not comment on the particular actions the station has taken in response to the tweet, Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported that the sports anchor would be suspended without pay starting Monday. A return-to-work date had not been revealed.
Feder noted neither Giangreco or his agent, Joel Weisman, commented on the situation when contacted.
While Giangreco's use of quotes in his tweet implied that the presidential election was not legitimate, his own voting record is less than stellar. Although a registered voter, Chicago City Wire reported that according to the Illinois State Board of Elections he did not vote in 2010, 2012, 2014 or 2016. He was one of the approximately 42 percent of eligible voters who did not exercise their right to vote in the 2016 election.
Giangreco has faced other awkward incidents in his career.
He apologized for an offensive graphic aired in the background during his sports report in 2014. A caption that read, "Cut him or cut your wrists," was attached to a photo of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
In an earlier incident, Giangreco was suspended without pay for one week. After the Pistons took the NBA Championship in 2004, he joked on air about a black-and-white movie clip of a city burning, saying it was a "typical night for Detroit."
Giangreco has worked at WLS as the sports director since 1994. He is the main sports anchor and reporter for the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. He spent 12 years at his previous position with NBC-owned WMAQ. Between 1978 and 1982, he was the sports anchor and sports director at WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky.. He was the weekend sports anchor and reporter at WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio, between 1976 and 1977. His broadcast career began at WING-AM radio in Dayton in 1972 while he was still attending the University of Dayton. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications in 1974.