Chicago assistant news director gives two weeks notice, reportedly told to leave immediately

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Sarah Dunlap Burke, the assistant news director at Chicago’s WLS resigned Friday, Aug. 23, 2021 and was reportedly told to leave immediately, reports Robert Feder.

Burke reportedly gave the station the customary two weeks notice, but management apparently decided they wanted her gone immediately.

The station’s news director Jennifer Graves emailed staffers thanking Burke for her work and wishing her best luck on her new job, which is reportedly vice president and news director at WCBS, the CBS owned station in New York City, according to Feder.

WLS is owned by ABC, so that could have been part of the reason the station opted to remove her immediately, though it’s also worth noting Burke’s new gig is a big step up that many would view as “jumping past” Graves and even WLS’s top management since WABC is the network’s flagship station in the biggest media market in the country.

WLS hasn’t had the best few months. In March 2021, it fired primary sports anchor Mark Giangreco after he called a co-anchor “ditzy” on air. It also cut ties with several on air talent, including contributor Janet Davies and Steve Dolinsky, who was known for his “Hungry Hound” reports (Dolinsky landed at WMAQ, the market’s NBC owned station). 

The station also announced it was cancelling its local show “Windy City Live.” The station was also hit with layoffs, like many other TV stations across the country.