Giant Food Stores LLC is suspending its advertising on WHTM-TV (abc27) following allegations against the station’s general manager.
The Middlesex Township-based grocery chain confirmed the advertising suspension Monday morning, months after former abc27 anchor Flora Posteraro filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission alleging discrimination by her former employer and the station’s general manager, Robert Bee.
In a statement, Giant said it is suspending advertising until the complaint is resolved.
“Following recent allegations against ABC 27’s general manager, GIANT Food Stores has decided to temporarily suspend our advertising with the station until the matter is appropriately resolved. We are fully committed to supporting fair and safe workplace environments,” the statement said.
In addition to Giant’s recent move, Capital BlueCross pulled its ads with abc27 in late March.
According to the complaint filed by Posteraro, Bee allegedly made discriminatory remarks about the station’s on-air female staff members, calling one a “fat pig” and another a “mean bitch.”
The complaint also alleges he showed favoritism toward the station’s male anchors.
Posteraro participated in an anonymous complaint to human resources against Bee last August. The complaint indicates that Posteraro frequently objected to Bee’s treatment of female employees.
The station offered to renew Posteraro’s contract in January, but only if she accepted a reassignment to a weekend anchor position. Her pay would not have been affected by the move, the complaint said.
Several officials at the station gave her contradicting reasons for what she described as a demotion, which she believes was in retaliation for challenging Bee’s behavior, according to the complaint.
Posteraro left abc27 in March, noting in a Facebook post “this was not my choice.” Posteraro worked for the station for 20 years.
Because Posteraro declined to accept the schedule change, she is seen as having resigned, the company contends.
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 Texas-based Nexstar from Media General in 2016.
Nexstar refutes claims that the station and Bee discriminated against Posteraro and that the company retaliated after she filed the complaint.
Nexstar officials were not immediately available for comment.
Efforts to reach Posteraro for comment were not immediately successful.