Cancer-Stricken Chattanooga Reporter George Terminated
Alex George, who has been battling cancer while reporting for WTVC in Chattanooga, has been let go by the station. Sinclair owns WTVC.
George, 22, wrote on Twitter, “I want to assure you that treatment is going incredibly well. The decision was not made by me it was @WeAreSinclair. They terminated my contract.”
Sinclair acquired the station in 2012.
George revealed her cancer struggles in an emotional appearance on Good Morning Chattanooga Weekend in May. She said she’d be off the air while battling her disease at home in Philadelphia. “I’m gonna fight this thing with everything I have,” said George.
Her bio was taken off the newschannel9.com site.
In September, George was named Best Reporter in the Chattanooga Times Free Press’ annual “Best of the Best” awards.
Mike Costa had been the WTVC general manager for 14 years, and departed the station in November.
A Sinclair spokesperson said the company does not comment on personnel matters, and added that “Sinclair not only provides leave and other accommodations as required by law, but also routinely provides additional time off and other benefits above and beyond what is legally required. In addition, Sinclair’s long-term disability benefits are provided at no cost to our employees, which allow qualified individuals to continue to receive up to 66% of their salary during their period of disability.”
The spokesperson said Sinclair “would be happy to meet and explore possible roles” for George when she is ready to work again.
“While these situations are never easy, we believe that our long-term disability policy is extremely competitive and reflects our concern for our employees who become ill or suffer from other issues,” Sinclair added.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.