AnchorPurged 1stLd-Writethru 04-01

Chicago’s highest paid anchor cut

CHICAGO — Chicago’s WBBM-TV, a CBS-owned station, released what was believed to be the region’s highest paid news anchor and a number of other well-known faces in a cost-cutting move.

Diann Burns, who is paid $2 million per year, was among those purged.

"I got to be close to a lot of good people there and we put on a lot of great news together," Burns said in a statement. "I wish them well."

Burns’ agent and husband, Marc Watts, said the station did not renew her contract.


The Chicago area is the nation’s third-largest media market.

In addition to its lead anchor, WBBM on Monday cast off its lead sportscaster, Mark Malone, longtime anchor-turned-health correspondent Mary Ann Childers, as well as several behind-the-scenes personnel.

No department was exempt, Joe Ahern, WBBM president and general manager, told the Chicago Tribune. He said cuts were in the "single-digit" percentage of the WBBM work force of more than 200.

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