CBS lays off staff, including Chicago’s CBS 2

More than a dozen staffers let go, including longtime investigative reporter Pam Zekman 

[Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.] 

Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Pam Zekman was one of a dozen staffers let go at CBS-owned WBBM-TV Wednesday as parent company ViacomCBS made 300 to 400 layoffs at CBS Entertainment Group.  

It appears CBS 2 bore the brunt of the layoffs, first reported by Robert Feder. Among the names released were news anchor Erin Kennedy, sports anchor Megan Mawicke, reporters Mai Martinez and Mike Puccinelli and meteorologist Megan Glaros. 

Other CBS-owned station layoffs announced thus far was Baltimore reporter Mike Schuh and Pat Warren, who were laid off at WJZ-TV; KDKA in Pittsburgh laid off anchors Susan Koeppen and Rick Dayton; and KCBS/KCAL laid off anchors Jeff Michael and Sharon Kay, and meteorologist Garth Kemp.  Like CBS 2 here, KCBS ranks at the bottom of the news ratings while WJZ and KDKA each top the competition in their respective markets.

Philadelphia’s KYW-TV also laid off more than a dozen people. CBS News was also hard hit, including longtime correspondent Dean Reynolds. 

The layoffs come as the coronavirus pandemic has decimated advertising revenue, falling as much by half – and even more in some cases as businesses closed and slashed their ad budgets. Radio has been hit the hardest as iHeartMedia, Cumulus, and Hubbard have all have either furloughed or laid off staff locally in the last two months. Outside of station group owner Tegna, most television broadcasting companies have been spared – until now. Viacom and CBS re-combined last year after spitting apart in 2005 as Viacom and CBS Corporation, respectively. 

CBS has always had a reputation for layoffs and cutting costs, starting in the mid-1980s under former owner Larry Tisch, who took control of the company at the time. Wednesday’s action comes to mind a similar layoff by CBS in 2008, on the brink of the Great Recession. Another huge layoff made by CBS in 1996 saw seven anchors and reporters from New York’s WCBS-TV fired in a story that made the front page of the New York Post. 

Last year, CBS 2 cut Marissa Bailey and Rob Johnson. 

The move by CBS 2 ends a long run for Zekman, who joined WBBM as an investigative reporter in 1981 at a time when the station dominated the local news ratings, led by anchors Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson. Even though the station has been numerous eras (including a tabloid TV), Zekman’s investigative reports were always must-see TV. Before joining WBBM, Zekman worked at the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and won two Pulitzer prizes. 

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75 thoughts on “CBS lays off staff, including Chicago’s CBS 2

    • Good ridsnce Megan glaros! And her weather watchers that did nothing about the weather
      All she did was promote business for her friends-Nancy addie and Elton eisley. Got free advertising. For Nancy addies bed and breakfast – almost every day!!
      She can go fluff her hair and advertise someone else somewhere else
      Weather watchers was a joke!!!
      Should have been dropped long ago!

    • in terms of being late to the judge is not what this is about because of what could happen when i come there, it depends what answer happens with march 16th with jocylene’s schedule in german.

    • Horrible move!! I will no longer watch CBS morning news. Megan and Erin made my morning!!

    • Why you would get rid of the best anchors you have is beyond Me! I have already found another news channel to watch in the morning!!! I will NEVER watch CBS news again. You keep the most benign personalities over the ones that people look forward to seeing! Whoever made this decision sucks!!!

    • I completely agree with Sandi and Jeanie. Erin and Megan made the start to my day brighter. Audrina does a daily hairstyle show, Rob can’t find a suit that fits and Yasmeen looks like a windmill waving her hands around. And getting rid of Pam Zekman – biggest bone-head move EVER!!! Award-winning reporter tossed out like the trash. What virus did management catch at CBS?

    • I won’t watch CBS for news or weather any more. Bring back all your great reporters. Funny you kept the new hires. I guess the 2 Pulitzers earned by Pam Zekman don’t mean anything. You are a second rate network because you dismiss first rate staff.

    • I’m a dedicated viewer of CBS News or I use to be from 8th grade (14 yrs old) to the present (age 60). You got rid of Marissa, Bailey, Rob Johnson, Erin Kennedy, Mike Puccinelli, Meagan Glaros,, and Pam Zekeman, Derrick C Young; All favorites of mine. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in the decisions that you guys have made. You won’t stay on the air long without the personalities that you just got rid of. For the 1st time ever I have to find another station to watch. So sad! So! So! Bad!

    • Erin and Megan were the best part of my morning!!!
      I will no longer watch CBS.
      I can’t wait to watch them where they land.

    • Bad moves on management’s part. I like Megan Glaros; Pam Zekman, awesome investigator; Marissa Bailey, a breath of fresh air, not the ubiquitous size 0!

      I’ve had all I can take of Brad Edwards’ whiney, exaggerated “Chicago” accent.

      I’ve been watching CBS local news at 5:00 pm and NBC for 10:00 pm. Now, it will be NBC all the way!

      • The last straw for me was letting Megan go. I faithfully watched CBS morning news every day. Every now and then I turn to see if y’all came back your sense and brought her and others back. I’ve notice about three different people doing the weather since Megan. Poor Marissa was pregnant at the she was let go. You people that’s getting rid of a great team within months apart are so petty and you have no heart.

    • You got rid of Erin and Megan and kept Yasmin….really???
      What we’re you thinking??
      Dollars, I’m sure!!
      Already have a new morning channel!

      • They kept Yasmine? Oh no she looks
        so bad! She is so skinny all we can see is her bones, she need to wear long sleeves
        But it doesn’t matter, already switched
        to different channel!

    • Erin and Megan made my mornings. I’m disgusted with the moves at CBS made. Well I guess they don’t care that I’ll never watch them again. They were professional they were positive and I hope I find them on another Chicago station sooN!!!
      Who watches CBS any more

    • So disappointed. They got rid of the best people in their staff. So goodbye to CBS and hello to ABC. Tracy Butler is great too! CBS needs to get rid of the person that is getting rid of all the good employees. Wouldn’t that be carma!

    • the other channels to watch the rest are a joke

    • Won’t be watching CBS News anymore.

    • what kind of idiots do they have running cbs. I will never a news program on cbs again hope there ratings go down to 000

      • I should’ve stopped watching when CBS got rid of Derrick, but I honestly wasn’t sure if he left on his own because of his illness. To leave crossed my mind again when I saw Mugo on the anchor desk. I can’t stand her! She’s so rude! Every time she’s in the field and the anchor says Good Morning, she doesn’t even respond! Now that Erin is gone! I’m DONE! I hope Ed goes on his own, or retires! I’m 52 years old and have watched channel 2 since I was 11. 😣

    • So sad you got rid of rick dayton and susan koeppin best news anchor you had kdka – you keep kristine sorenson she the worst anchor in the history of KDKA

      • Wow….Yes, I disagree with many of these decisions by CBS. But folks. Come on. Those of you who have to criticize how someone physically LOOKS on the air? Instead of whether they were actually doing their jobs well, you say they are ugly? Too skinny? How absolutely embarrassing and offensive YOU are in such words.

        • Well said Ronald..I agree that content, professionalism and presentation are more important than physical characteristics? How the voice sounds? What the?
          Why be so mean to those that remain? Why body shame?
          Not a good move on the part of CBS as far as the lay offs but not too cool to express yourself in this manner.

    • I definitely will miss Megan Glaros and her beautiful smile and refreshing sense of humor. She was always professional and gave us the straight facts. It is amazing to me that CBS national recognized her talents but locally she was taken for granted. Megan I hope you land on your feet soon!

    • I switched from CBS News when I got tired of the round table at the CBS This Morning desk. They whole Network is confused!!! Check out Fox instead.

    • I am so disappointed that Erin and Megan were let go; they were both WONDERFUL at their jobs; what was CBS thinking??????? They both made my morning! It was bad enough when CBS let Rob Johnson and Roseann Tellez go; but now this?? I am so done with CBS; they were my favorite news & weather channel but not anymore!!!

    • I agree with everyone!! Why get rid of the ones that people enjoy – of course I know the answer the almighty $ – I have missed the familiar faces and now I know why. I thought it is vacation time, now I learn it’s a permanent vacation for these CBS anchors/meteorologist and sports reporters.Good Luck to all these people!!

    • Waking up watching channel 2 news was part of my daily ritual getting ready for work. I liked watching Erin and Megan I don’t understand why channel 2 would axe their best news anchor and weather reporter. I hope that Erin and Megan turn up locally.

    • I am done with cbs, channel 2
      Chicago, news. I have been watching them for over 20 years but they have laid off to many good people in the these years and I am done. Very disappointed that it all comes down to money. I have not seen these changes happening on channel 7 or 5.

    • Turning the channel…
      Can’t believe you cut Erin & Megan. Megan was the reason for my loyalty to CBS. Ryan Baker is good, but Megan Gloros… really? I’m gone.

    • In my opinion, Erin and Megan were a “class act’ and Pam Zekman was one of the best investigative reporters.
      During my years in the workforce, I witnessed many “poor decisions” made by company bigwigs and always said that they lacked common sense. This move made by CBS has added fuel to my theory. Good luck and God bless Erin and and Megan!.

    • Miss Megan and Erin. No more CBS news for me. Going somewhere else.

    • Hope things Continue getting Worse for You CBS Suits.
      Megan and Erin were Absolutely Great at doing their Jobs !!!
      Haven’t Watched CBS Since, and Never Will Again. PERIOD

    • Such a sad day to let people go who have been there. I feel like I knew my morning crew. Megan, Erin and Mike were my favs. Shame on CBS! Might just move over to ABC

    • Frankly I Got sick of hervtelling me who she was every five minutes

    • Gayle king can’t get through two sentences without messing up. Get rid of her she’s horrible to listen to

    • do not understand getting rid of that many good professionals. Erin and Megan were great for the morning. I don’t know how they expect people to continue to watch them when they let so many good people go.

    • I hate the changes in the people that used to watch in the morning. The new weather guy sucks. He is boring and I change the channel when he is on.I have been watching CBS for 30 years. The people laid off in this last cut were good people. The only person left to like who has withstood the lay off storms is Ed Curran and I would totally miss him if he was laid off. I have been watching him give the morning weather for as long as I can remember. CBS you are not number 1 in Chicago news or my choice of news channel anymore.

    • I miss Erin and Meghan. I think they were released for other reasons besides what they claiming namely reason that involve color & race. I am currently watching other news networks.

    • Everyone I liked watching on CBS 2 in the morning are gone, Erin Sullivan, Megan Gkaros, Marisa Bailey, Derek Young. On top of letting go of Pam Zekman, Mike Pucinelli, Rob Johnson, Megan Mawicke. I’m done.
      I agree there is something going on here besides just money. I’m done with CBS too and already enjoying ABC 7. Nothing on CBS 2 for me after 15 years of watching since I moved back to Chicago.

    • Everyone I liked watching on CBS 2 in the morning are gone, Erin Sullivan, Megan Gkaros, Marisa Bailey, Derek Young. On top of letting go of Pam Zekman, Mike Pucinelli, Rob Johnson, Megan Mawicke. I’m done.
      I dont believe it’s just on here money. I’m done with CBS too and already enjoying ABC 7. Nothing on CBS 2 for me after 15 years of watching since I moved back to Chicago.

    • have not watched CBS morning news since they laid off Megan and the others. Bad move by CBS

    • A few year ago CBS morning news caught my attention, they seemed to be on to something real good. Now it is so very bland they should consider not having a morning news broadcast at all. Without the cut personalities that complemented Gayle King, it has now lost a certain effect. Even the top morning weather lady Megan was cut. I immediately noticed a drop off in quality and will no longer recommend or watch.

    • We enjoyed watching Megan and Erin Kennedy. Pan Zekman firer was a bad move, as she was a highly respected journalist. Not happy with your decisions.

    • Getting ride of Megan Glaros made me stop watching your news, altogether.You lost the best of your program. Sorry . John J Salzer

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