General assignment reporter and weekend morning anchor Kevin Roy is out at WLS-Channel 7, the city's top-rated news station. According to WLS general manager Emily Barr, Roy's contract was not renewed. Roy did not show up for work this past weekend, when he was to have anchored the station's early morning newscasts on Sunday. Reporters Michelle Gallardo and Ben Bradley hustled to fill in for the absent Roy.
Tuesday afternoon Roy issued 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. WLS has been my refuge for 12 years. I'll deeply miss my association with the station and my colleagues. I'm committed to remaining here (in Chicago)."
The sudden exit of Roy marks a rare blemish on the well-oiled news machine at WLS, where Barr and her news director Jennifer Graves take their top ranking in the local news ratings very seriously and expect those in their employ to do likewise.
By all accounts, Roy had been a highly-competent reporter during his 12-year tenure at WLS. He won five Emmys for his work at WLS over the years, including one for his report "A Son of Suicide," in which he talked about his family's experience in the wake of his mother's suicide. Roy also had an interest in architecture and won top honors in 2001 from the Associated Press of Illinois, which honored his special segment on the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.