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Capital BlueCross pulls advertising from abc27 in wake of allegations

Capital BlueCross is suspending its advertising on WHTM-TV (abc27) in the wake of a complaint against the station’s general manager.

The Susquehanna Township-based health insurer confirmed the advertising suspension on Thursday, a week after former abc27 anchor Flora Posteraro filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission alleging discrimination by the station’s general manager, Robert Bee.

In a statement, Capital BlueCross said it is suspending advertising until the complaint is resolved.

“We take the matter of due process seriously and have not made any judgments as to fault in this matter. But we also take allegations of sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace very seriously, leading us to this decision,” read the statement.  

According to the complaint filed by Posteraro, Bee made rude comments about the appearance of the station’s female anchors, calling one a “fat pig” and another a “mean bitch.” The complaint also alleges he gave preferential treatment to the station’s male anchors.

Posteraro joined other female anchors in filing a complaint in August against Bee with the human relations department of the station. The complaint notes Posteraro frequently challenged Bee on his behavior towards herself and her colleagues.

According to the complaint, the station offered to renew Posteraro’s contract in January, but only if she accepted a demotion to a weekend anchor position. The complaint alleges numerous officials at the station gave her conflicting reasons for the demotion, which she believes was in retaliation to her actions against Bee’s behavior.

Posteraro left abc27 in March, emphasizing in a Facebook post “this was not my choice.”

Bee joined the station in January 2017. He previously worked at WBRE-TV near Wilkes-Barre. Both WBRE-TV and WHTM-TV are owned by Nexstar Media Group. WHTM-TV was purchased by Nexstar from Media General in 2016.

Attempts to reach Nexstar and Bee were not immediately successful.

Other advertisers on the network, including Penn State Health and UPMC Pinnacle, said they have no plans to change their advertising with abc27 at this time. 

This story has been updated with information about other advertisers with abc27.

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