Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Amy Jacobson fired by NBC-5 News over Bikini Journalism

Revised at 7:40 pm to add link to CBS-2 News bikini video footage.

Amy Jacobson and NBC-5 News "part ways." or Jacobson "is fired," or Jacobson "is leaving," NBC-5 News, as a result of her "bikini journalism." First Reported here at 5:30 pm.

FNC reports Amy Jacobson fired.

A Fox News Channel ("FNC") correspondent, Megyn Kelly, reported
about one hour ago on the station’s “Big Story,” afternoon show that so called local news ace
reporter Amy Jacobson at NBC-5 News had been fired. FNC's Kelly said a source at NBC News had confirmed that. Jacobson was videotaped, apparently on last Friday, in a bikini top with a towel around her waist, at the home of Craig Stebic, whose wife’s disappearance was being covered by Jacobson. [See here for video footage of Jacobson's bikini visit to Stebic's home].

Tribune reports Jacobson "is leaving," NBC-5 News

In the last ten minutes, the Chicago Tribune online edition reported,

The NBC-5 news staff was informed of [Jacobson's] departure in a memo Tuesday afternoon from Vice President of News Frank Whittaker and News Director Camille Edwards. 'We are sorry to tell you that Amy Jacobson is leaving NBC 5 News, effective immediately,' according to the memo, which was obtained by the Tribune. The NBC-5 memo noted that Amy's contributions as a reporter over the last 10 years are numerous. [See here].

It was reported by the FNC’s Kelly that Jacobson said she had been on her way to the East Bank Club [a fitness facility with a pool in the Chicago Loop] with her young kids when she got a call from Stebic’s sister, who was also at the Stebic home, inviting her over.

The FNC news report noted that in addition to the above, Jacobson’s hair was wet, suggesting she had been in the pool. Correspondent Megyn Kelly likened the event to someone covering the alleged rape by certain members of the Duke Lacrosse team by "frolicking in the pool with team members." For a defense of Jacobson’s behavior and an argument that Jacobson's bikini troubles reflect gender discrimination, see the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn.

Jacobson and NBC-5 News "Part ways."

NBC-5 News Senior Management were initially unavailable for comment and did not return phone messages keft earlier this afternoon requesting a comment on the above. In the last five minutes, Toni Salvo, VP, NBC-5 News Promotions and Programming, returned this journalist's call and read a statement to me from Larry Wert, President and GM, NBC-5 News.

Amy Jacobson has been one of our most valued reporters for over ten years. The decision to part ways has been a difficult one. We wish her the very best.

When I asked Salvo for a comment on FNC's report that Jacobson was fired, Salvo declined comment and referred me to Wert, who did not respond to my phone message asking him to comment on the apparent descrepancy between NBC's statement, the Chicago Tribune's statement and that of the FNC.
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