Anchor Steve Bartelstein Cut Loose at WBBM

By Merrill Knox 

Steve Bartelstein, a veteran anchor in major markets like New York and Chicago, has been suddenly released from his contract after 10 months at WBBM.

Bartelstein’s last day on the Chicago CBS O&O was Friday, according to Time Out Chicago‘s Robert Feder. His bio was removed from the station’s website over the weekend after his final morning broadcast with co-anchor Susan Carlson on Friday.

Bartelstein’s departure from WBBM is the latest in a long string of dramatic exits from different stations. In 2007, he was fired from New York’s WABC after sleeping through a newscast he was slated to anchor.

Six months later, he landed at WCBS in New York. While at WCBS, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and continued as a weekend anchor throughout his treatment and recovery. He abruptly quit in 2009 after claiming that WCBS accidentally mailed his paycheck, which he needed to pay his medical expenses, to his home, instead of leaving it at the station for him to pick up as he normally did.

Weekend news anchor Jim Williams will fill in this week while the station searches for a replacement. Chicago media blogger Zack Isaacs reports that the Chicago station has had several different combinations of anchors for various broadcasts in the past few years, noting that WBBM general manager Bruno Cohen said recently, “You’re going to see more change in this industry in the next 36 months than you have in the past 36 years.”