Lilia Chacon was on her way to New York Sunday to pick up a Peabody Award -- one of the highest honors in all of broadcasting -- when I called her to confirm the news that she'd been fired as a general assignment reporter at WFLD-Channel 32. It was one of those little ironies you couldn't make up.
Chacon was part of the team cited for its nationally recognized coverage of the beating death last fall of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old Fenger High School honor student. But after 21 years at the‚ Fox-owned station, Chacon won't be on the team much longer.
On Friday she was told that her position was being eliminated and that her contract would not be renewed when it expires July 3. She's the latest in a growing list of on-air veterans who've been purged from Fox Chicago News in recent months, including Jack Conaty, Lauren Cohn, Byron Harlan, Nancy Loo and David Viggiano. Close to two dozen technical staffers also are slated for unemployment in the coming weeks.