Mark Giangreco hasn’t spoken publicly since his last sportscast Jan. 28, but fans can hear him in a podcast interview that predates his ouster from ABC7 on March 12.
George Ofman, a longtime radio voice in Chicago, spoke with Giangreco in October for his podcast “Tell Me a Story I Don’t Know.” Ofman, who interviews sports personalities with a Chicago connection, addresses Giangreco’s departure to open the show before delving into his past. The podcast dropped Monday and can be heard here.
Giangreco was forced out after he jokingly referred to news anchor Cheryl Burton as someone who could “play the ditzy, combative interior decorator” as part of a fictional DIY Network show. Burton complained to management, which took Giangreco off the air.
“I’ve gotta be the only person that’s sitting here with a 40-plus minute interview with Mark Giangreco,” Ofman said. “And he was very graphic about his suspensions in the past, which was an obvious question to ask him.
“But it’s about him growing up, coming here, his great stories of the TV wars that were epic. [Tim] Weigel and Giangreco and Johnny Morris, they were as competitive as you can get. I watched all three of them because you couldn’t miss them.”
It’s believed Giangreco’s silence is part of his separation agreement, which ended his 27-year run at the station. Giangreco, who first worked in Chicago for NBC5 in 1982, had 18 months left on a contract he signed in the fall of 2019. Sources believe he will be paid for the remainder of the deal.
Ofman alerted Giangreco’s agent, Joel Weisman, of the podcast and said he was gracious in his response. As for the interview, Giangreco is as his fans would expect him to be – entertaining, revealing and himself.
“For anybody who knows him, he is as genuine as they come,” said Ofman, who has known Giangreco since his arrival. “And on top that, there’s a reason why he has won so many awards and he’s being honored by so many people: He’s a terrific journalist. He just happens to be that creative guy that comes along once in a while, that just jumps right out of the page.”
The show is available via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcast platforms.