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Flora Posteraro: Trying to figure out the next chapter in life and looking for a job

(PennLive – May 10, 2018) Flora Posteraro has no idea what the next chapter of her life looks like – not that she’s blase about it.

But after 34 years in broadcast news, the long-time news anchor is still trying to wrap her head around her new reality.

“I  had a difficult time trying to make sense of what happened and try to process it. It was very difficult,” Posteraro told PennLive this week, less than two months after she abruptly announced on social media that she no longer worked for abc27.

“I thought that I would retire doing the job that I loved doing. I’ve had to regroup. I’m looking for work. Looking for another job trying to figure out what’s the next chapter in my professional life.”

Normally, Posteraro is the one asking questions and getting people to open up, but the role-reversal comes with ground rules: Questions about the discrimination case she has filed against her former employer are off the table.

Still, she strikes an evocative tone in talking about themes central to the national conversation on sexual harassment in the workplace.

“I think that just about every woman out there has a story to tell. I think just about every woman has had something happen to them and they have a story to tell and I think they have been reluctant to speak up for a number of reasons,” Posteraro said.

“I thought that I would retire doing the job that I loved doing,” said former abc27 anchor Flora Posteraro. “I’ve had to regroup. I’m looking for work.”

On March 13, Posteraro engendered the support of thousands of viewers and Facebook users after she broke the news of her abrupt departure from the ABC affiliate on the social media platform. She noted then that it was a “powerful moment for women to demand equality, fairness, and professionalism in the workplace.”

Thousands of supporters have rallied behind her, many joining the several Facebook groups that spawned in the wake of her departure from the station.

Arguably one of the most prominent women in broadcasting in the region, Posteraro in March was fired from abc27 amid reports that the station tolerated a culture of inappropriateness. That is Posteraro’s account of what happened. Nexstar Media Group, which last year acquired WHTM in a $4.6 billion buyout from former corporate parent, Media General, declined to comment for this story.

Posteraro last year added her name to an internal complaint made by several station employees against Robert Bee, abc27’s general manager. The employees accused Bee of discriminatory and sexist behavior.

A few months after the complaint was lodged, Posteraro, whose contract with the station had expired, was reassigned to an evening and weekend shift. The reassignment did not come with a pay cut, but was considered a demotion.

In April, Nexstar regional manager Theresa Underwood told the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal that the “company had found no merit in the claims made by employees nor any violation of company policy.”

Finding a new job is a tall order for someone who has only ever wanted to be a news broadcaster. Posteraro said she knew as a child that she wanted to be a news broadcaster.

“That’s all I ever wanted to do. I didn’t have a plan B,” she said.

Posteraro is off camera as she is on camera: A consummate professional, meticulously groomed, posture and diction honed to perfection.

The latter took a little work.

A Pittsburgh native, Posteraro attended California University of Pennsylvania as a speech major knowing that before she could ever have a career in broadcasting, she had to do something about the thick Pittsburgh accent.

“I knew I had to get rid of it,” she quips.

She did, and fast, graduating in three years – with summa cum laude honors, no less. She hit the ground running after graduation.

Over the years, she worked at TV stations including WPVI in Philadelphia, WBRE in Wilkes-Barre and WJAC in Johnstown before beginning a 20-year career at acb27, WHTM in Harrisburg.

If she has become a role model of sorts it has been unwillingly. Posteraro, long a single parent, says she has had a singular goal.

She continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public. On Sunday, Posteraro was eating at a diner when several customers stopped by her table to tell her how much they missed seeing her on TV.

“It hasn’t stopped. It’s very kind, very humbling. It’s nice to hear that,” she said.

She’s keeping busy with the chores of life – lawn work, grocery shopping, exercising. (But you won’t find her binge-watching TV.)

Posteraro, who says she wants to stay in the broadcast news industry, continues to speak to prospective employers. She has interviewed with PA Media Group, the parent company of PennLive and The Patriot-News, among others.

And she’s still in contact with her former abc27 colleagues. They reach out to her often. “I still refer to them as my co-workers,” Posteraro said. “We were a family. I think we’ll always be a family.”

Ever the steely professional, Posteraro betrays little vulnerability. That all changes when she speaks about her late father – her one true role model.

The eyes that have delivered the news for 34 years fill with tears.