ABC 7 fires AWOL weekend anchor Kevin Roy

ABC 7 fires AWOL weekend anchor Kevin Roy

Kevin Roy, who’s been a weekend morning news anchor and an award-winning reporter for ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, was fired Monday after failing to show up for Sunday morning’s newscasts. He cited “physical exhaustion” as the reason.

Kevin Roy

It was the third time in recent months that Roy was a no-show at work. Once he missed a dayside reporting shift on a Wednesday. And last weekend was the second time he’d missed the two Sunday morning news blocks (from 6 to 7 a.m. and from 8 to 9:30 a.m.) he anchored with Stacey Baca, sources said. Since Baca had the day off, Roy was to have anchored last Sunday’s newscasts solo. When he didn’t appear, free-lance reporter Michelle Gallardo jumped into the anchor chair for the first half-hour, followed by reporter Ben Bradley, who hustled in from home and anchored the rest of the show.

Station officials confirmed that Roy was no longer employed, but declined to comment on the circumstances. “We elected not to renew his contract,” said Emily Barr, president and general manager of Channel 7. “We wish him well.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Roy released the following statement:

“I’m profoundly sorry that WLS has decided not to renew my contract when it‚ expires, though I understand the reason.‚ By failing to show up at my‚ appointed time, I abused the station’s reliance on me. To those who might‚ speculate on the reason, be assured that my problem is one of physical‚ exhaustion only; I only wish I had taken the opportunity to take some time‚ off, rather than try to muscle through.‚ Chicago‚ is my home, and WLS has been‚ my refuge for 12 years.‚ I’ll deeply miss my association with the station‚ and my colleagues, but I’m committed to remaining here.‚ Like Chicago‚ itself, I need to have‚ Big Shoulders.‚ I hope to come through this having‚ learned a valuable lesson in maturity.”

Roy, a Chicago area native who graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School and the University of Missouri at Columbia, joined Channel 7 as a reporter in 1998 from KGW-TV in Portland, Ore. He was promoted to weekend news anchor in 2002.

Admired by his colleagues as a versatile and talented reporter, Roy had a particular knack for telling difficult stories with sensitivity. He won numerous awards for his reports about suicide, including “A Son of Suicide,” a series about his mother, Diane Marcus Roy, who took her life at age 51 in 1995. He also has covered movie critic Roger Ebert’s battles with cancer and related health issues with grace and delicacy.

Roy also wrote “The ABCs of Architecture,” a blog on architecture for the station’s website. It’s no longer accessible online.