After Chicago media reporter Robert Feder wrote a story saying WFLD executive producer Dan Salamone told his female reporters not to wear hats during live shots, TVSpy spoke with Dennis Welsh, gm for the Chicago-owned Fox station, about the issue.
Welsh told TVSpy the station does not stand by what Salamone told his reporters, who are all female and said a broad discussion about on-air fashion choices became an ill-conceived directive about hats. Welsh said Salamone used poor judgement.
Feder’s report tried to connect a thread between Salamone and former WBBM gm Bill Applegate, who once told his anchorwomen to wear “tight-fitting silk blouses” instead of suits, in the early 90s. Applegate was Salamone’s boss at WOIO in Cleveland, Ohio.
Salamone’s directive, which he did not issue to male reporters, said the women would “look a lot better without hats” and should go without them from now on. He’d be willing to make an exception, he said, “if it’s 20 below.”
He assured TVSpy, WFLD does not have a policy against hats. “It’s Chicago,” said Welch, who added all reporters at all the other stations wear hats and he wants all of his reporters to be safe during the chilly Chicago winter.
Welsh added that the station was taking appropriate disciplinary action, though he couldn’t say specifically whether it was against Salamone.
As far as the email being directed towards female reporters and not male reporters, Welsh pointed out no men got the email, because all the reporters in the morning are women.
The story even reached WFLD’s competitors. One reporter tweeted about it:
— Jessica D’Onofrio (@donofrioABC7) January 5, 2016