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Why Fired ABC News Star Called Co-Anchor a Vulgar Word, Source Says

ABC7 New York's Ken Rosato was reportedly let go from the station following a hot mic incident.

On Monday, May 15, a report came out that an ABC news anchor had been "immediately fired" after being overheard calling his co-anchor an offensive word. Now, sources claim to know the reason why he voiced the insult. Page Six previously reported that ABC7 New York anchor Ken Rosato was fired after calling Eyewitness News This Morning co-host Shirleen Allicot the c-word on a hot mic, but off the air. It was unclear in the initial report what issue Rosato had with Allicot, now, sources claim to know what led to the outburst. Read on to find out more.

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Rosato was reportedly fired on May 12.

Ken Rosato on ABC 7
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

A source told Page Six that Rosato was "immediately let go" from ABC7 after being heard calling Allicot the c-word "on an open mic" off-air.

According to Page Six, Rosato's co-workers at ABC7 were told he was let go from the station on Friday, May 12. They were reportedly told the news "one by one," but not told what Rosato had said.

A source claims to know why Rosato was upset.

Ken Rosato and Shirleen Allicot during a cooking segment for ABC 7
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

In the new report, a source claims that Rosato called Allicot the c-word amid frustrations with what he felt was the station favoring her. A source said that the station gave Allicot "more shine" than Rosato.

The source added, "Ken might have been a little jealous. It seems like there were things that led up to [the incident], but that's not [Allicot's] fault."

The source also said of the dynamic between the co-anchors, "They have different work styles. He's been there for two decades, and perhaps he was less driven." This anonymous person also noted that Rosato had "been having back problems," implying that pain may have exacerbated his other issues.

Another source disagrees.

Another source who spoke with Page Six said that it was unlike Rosato to use the vulgar word. "He has no disrespect for anyone," they said. "It's not who he is, and it's very much out of character. Something must've triggered that."

The source said that the claim that Rosato resented the station supposedly favoring Allicot was "100 percent inaccurate."

"It's not his personality," they said. "He would never take offense to them trying to promote a talent and they had an amazing relationship on-air. You can see that."

Sources are also divided over how his exit is being received.

It has been a week since Rosato was reportedly fired, and sources also spoke to Page Six about the reaction at the station. One source said that "no one seems horribly upset" that Rosato is gone. Meanwhile, someone else told the publication that former co-workers are "calling him in droves, saying they miss him."

On Rosato's Instagram account, some fans also expressed that they missed seeing him on TV, while others were just trying to figure out what happened.

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Rosato had been with ABC7 for two decades.

Ken Rosato at the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in 2020
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Rosato had spent 20 years at the station prior to being let go. He began working with ABC7 in 2003 and became the co-anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning in 2007. Allicot became employed by the station in 2015 and joined Rosato as the co-anchor of the morning show in 2017 with the departure of Lori Stokes.

Signs of Rosato's exit from ABC7 soon became apparent. His Twitter account, which was associated with the station, has been deleted, as has his bio on the ABC7 website.

Rosato has not commented on the news, but his spokesperson did release a statement after an earlier report suggested that the vulgar word he used may have been a racial slur.

"Being fired for any racial slur is 100 percent inaccurate and untrue," the rep told Page Six on May 12. "Ken Rosato had a benchmark of 20 years at WABC of supporting all equality."

Best Life has reached out to ABC7 and Rosato for comment but has not yet received a response.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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