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Missing Woman’s Relatives Sue WBBM

Relatives of Craig Stebic, husband of missing Illinois woman Lisa Stebic, filed a lawsuit against WBBM Chicago for airing a video that they said caused them emotional distress.

WBBM, a CBS owned-and-operated station, aired video of former WMAQ Chicago reporter Amy Jacobson enjoying the swimming pool at the Stebics’ home. Jacobson had been covering the case and presumably had gotten friendly with Craig Stebic.

Jacobson was let go in July 2007, not long after the video aired. She filed a lawsuit, alleging that she was unfairly portrayed by WBBM.

Craig Stebic’s relatives filed the lawsuit against CBS and several WBBM employees in Cook County Circuit Court, according to published reports. They alleged that WBBM’s coverage of Jacobson’s and Craig Stebic’s dip in the pool was “false, malicious and illegal” and that they sustained "severe emotional distress" due to WBBM implying that there was a relationship between Jacobson and Craig Stebic.

Lisa Stebic has been missing since April 2007. Craig Stebic had been deemed a “person of interest” by the police, who did not charge him with a crime.

A WBBM spokesperson said the station had not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit. “As we have stated before,” the spokesperson added, “we look forward to vigorously defending ourselves in court."

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.