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Capital Blue Cross suspends advertising with abc27 in wake of sexual discrimination complaint

(PennLive – March 29, 2018)  A leading Central Pennsylvania health insurance company has suspended its advertising on Harrisburg’s ABC television affiliate in the wake of a sexual discrimination complaint by a popular former news anchor.

The move by Capital Blue Cross, first reported Thursday by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal, was taken in response to the complaint filed last week with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission by Flora Posteraro.

Posteraro has alleged she was moved off of her weekday news anchor slot, and ultimately terminated, in retaliation for complaints about what she saw as unequal treatment of female staffers by the station’s general manager, Robert Bee.

Here’s what Capital Blue Cross said about its decision in a statement shared with PennLive Thursday afternoon:

“Capital BlueCross is committed to supporting fair and safe workplace environments, both within our company and in the community.

“We decided to suspend advertising with abc27 until the public complaint against the station’s general manager is appropriately 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.

A company spokeswoman declined further further comment on the matter.

PennLive was not able to reach Bee for comment by the time of this posting.

Flora Posteraro and abc27: what we know about the anchor's departure and legal response

Flora Posteraro and abc27: what we know about the anchor’s departure and legal response

Posteraro’s complaint alleges that she was reassigned to an evening and weekend shift in retaliation for her participation in a complaint about abc27’s station manager, Robert Bee.

According to several WHTM station employees, officials with Nexstar Media Group Inc. – the station’s corporate parent – gave Bee their strong support in a staff meeting late last week.

At that meeting, the staffers said, the company vowed a vigorous defense against Posteraro’s allegations.

Capital BlueCross, headquartered in Susquehanna Township, is a leading health insurance provider in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. According to company profiles, it provides insurance coverage and other services to about 1 million members, spanning 21 counties.

Colleagues, fans of former abc27 anchor rally on social media: 'I Stand With Flora Posteraro'

Colleagues, fans of former abc27 anchor rally on social media: ‘I Stand With Flora Posteraro’

Many of those posts are citing respect and equality for women in broadcasting, taking cues from Posteraro’s own Facebook comment.

The company’s president and chief executive officer, Gary St. Hilaire, is also the father of one of WHTM’s reporter / anchors, Amanda St. Hilaire.

Amanda St. Hilaire was one of several of Posteraro’s abc27 colleagues, present and past, who voiced support for their former colleague in various social media platforms after her departure earlier this month.