Thursday, February 21, 2013

Morrison Blames Wife For Abuse

Former CBS 2 anchor Rob Morrison tells the Post that his wife is to blame for years of abuse.

While drinking Bud Light at Buffalo Wild Wings in Stamford, Morrison said Ashley struck him in the face with a remote control late Saturday/early Sunday after they had watched "Mystic Pizza."  He admitted to seeing a psychologist once a week to help with his anxiety.

The paper also reports that Connecticut child protective services will soon talk with Morrison over his brother-in-law's claim that Morrison said he'd shoot his son in front of Ashley before shooting her if she ever left him.

The Daily News has more details on what happened behind closed doors at CBS 2 yesterday: Morrison told station management that he was quitting just before they were about to let him go in a 40-minute meeting.  The paper says he was making $300,000 to anchor the morning and noon newscasts.  After, he told the paper:
I truly believe this is the best for everybody. It’s increasingly apparent, as the story becomes more inflamed and ridiculous, there’s no way I could go on and read the news to everybody.
The News also reports:
While Morrison was adamant that the decision to quit was his, sources indicated his CBS career ended the minute that cops put him in handcuffs early Sunday morning. “After he was arrested for choking his wife and allegedly threatening to kill her, it was clear that he would never be back on the air at CBS ever again,” one insider told The News. “The bosses have no tolerance for any type of scandal and have had difficulties with Rob for several months. This was the final straw.”
Morrison made a horrible situation even worse when he called in sick to work Monday without telling station executives about his arrest, the insider said. Bosses instead learned that their “News at Noon” anchor was handcuffed and freed on $100,000 bail by reading the shocking news online.
In a separate story, the News takes a look at the long road to comebacks for news anchors who've gotten in trouble.

Morrison appeared in yesterday's Sean Delonas cartoon in the Post in which he's been replaced on CBS 2 by Chris Brown, the musician who's infamous for beating girlfriend Rihanna:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Morrison Resigns

Rob Morrison resigned from CBS 2 News today and released this statement:
My family is my first and only priority right now and I have informed CBS 2 management that I need to put all of my time and energy into making sure that I do what's best for my wife and my son. I very much appreciate the opportunity that CBS 2 has given me and I thank them for accepting my decision.
He had been the anchor of CBS 2 News This Morning and CBS 2 News at Noon for the last two years and previously anchored on weekends and reported during the week.

Morrison tweeted this afternoon:

Morrison spoke with FishbowlNY's Jerry Barmash and was defiant when it came to the police charges of red marks on his wife Ashley's neck: "Police can say anything they want. Is there any sort of photographic evidence? There is none."

The Daily News reports Morrison faces five years in prison if convicted of the strangulation charge.

Proof that you can't believe everything you read about this story, there are contradictory reports about what happened behind-the-scenes Monday morning.  From the Daily News' story:
Officials at WCBS were livid that the "News at Noon" anchor allegedly lied to them about the bruises on his face when he came to work Monday, sources said.
He "misled station management and has made a horrible situation even worse," a source said.
Whereas FishbowlNY reported a source said yesterday:
"Evidently, he lied to the station about how his face was injured when he called in sick. That alone is a serious offense."
He either called in sick or showed up for work, depending on which source you believe.

The station's website quickly pulled Morrison's bio today (though they still list Asa Aarons, who was let go months ago, as a reporter).  Promos featuring Morrison have been pulled from the air.  The topical spots for the morning newscast now feature only Mary Calvi speaking and a full screen graphic has replaced the shot of the anchor team smiling.

The CBS 2 News This Morning Facebook page (which, incidentally, Morrison created when he moved to weekdays) changed its cover photo to an image of the Manhattan skyline, though team photos including the now former anchor are still visible when looking at older images.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wragge to Fill in for Morrison

Chris Wragge announced on his Facebook page this evening that he will be Mary Calvi's co-anchor on CBS 2 News This Morning tomorrow.  Don Dahler filled in yesterday and today for Rob Morrison, who was arrested for allegedly choking his wife.

Dahler has a four-day workweek as a result of his morning and evening anchoring on weekends, meaning he usually reports on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Wragge is of course no stranger to mornings, having co-anchored "The Early Show" on Saturdays for a couple of years before moving to the weekday version for 2011.  But there is definitely a difference to going on air at 7:00 a.m., as he did with the network, and going on at 4:30 a.m., as he'll  be doing tomorrow.

Morrison Threatened to "Kill His Wife," Detective Says

Rob Morrison appeared in Stamford Court earlier today and told reporters that he never choked or struck his wife.

Here are the local tabloid headlines:

Rob Morrison outside Stamford Court today. (Photo: Darien Times/Laureen Vellante)

New York Post: CBS anchor Morrison 'would kill his wife' if released: court papers

Daily News: WCBS-TV newsman Rob Morrison threatened to 'kill his wife' after he was arrested and accused of choking her; Police report paints angry anchorman as a boozy bully with an internet porn habit

The Darien Times says Morrison is not allowed to be within 100 yards of his wife, except at work, where the couple shares a desk, according to what his lawyer told the judge (probably referring to how they both appear at the anchor desk).  Both Rob and Ashley requested to have the order lifted but the state's attorney asked for it to remain, citing the severity of the charges and Rob's history.

FishbowlNY quotes an insider as saying "Evidently, he lied to the station about how his face was injured when he called in sick. That alone is a serious offense."  That source suggested that the station would let Morrison go.

Morrison's next court date is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26th.

Morrison Makes Front Covers

Morning anchor Rob Morrison's bloody mug shot makes the front covers of New York's tabloids this morning (both of which don't understand the difference between CBS and WCBS):

The Post reports it wasn't the first time police have been called to the home. In fact, they were there "several weeks" ago but filed no charges. But in 2009, Morrison was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife when they lived on the Upper West Side.  And between 2003 and 2009, police had responded to seven "verbal disputes."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rob Morrison Arrested, Accused of Choking Wife

CBS 2 News morning and noon anchor Rob Morrison has been arrested and accused with choking his wife Ashley Morrison, according to the Darien Times.  Ashley is the CBS Money Watch reporter and appears with her husband at the anchor desk weekday mornings.

Darien Police mug shot
The Darien Times says Morrison faces felony strangulation and misdemeanor threatening and disorderly conduct charges.  Darien Police responded after receiving a call from Ashley's mother at 1:30 a.m. yesterday alerting them of a fight at the couple's Darien home.  Police reported red marks on Ashley's neck and that Rob had used both hands to choke her.  The Daily News reports Rob continued to threaten his wife after officers arrived.  FishBowlNY's Jerry Barmash tweeted that Rob posted $100,000 bond and is due in court tomorrow.

Morrison tweeted an image of what he called "Our joint (and only) statement on this unfortunate and exaggerated incident."
Rob and Ashley Morrison are cooperating fully with the authorities to insure (sic) that all of the information necessary to properly evaluate this unfortunate incident is made available.
The Morrisons are confident that a full review of this matter will show that the allegations have been greatly exaggerated.
While this matter is being addressed, Rob and Ashley hope that their family's privacy will be respected.
Morrison joined CBS 2 News on October 5, 2009 as a weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter.  He added weekend evenings to his duties when Mary Calvi moved to weekdays in the summer of 2010, then joined the weekday morning and noon team in January 2011.

Weekend anchor Don Dahler sat alongside Mary Calvi this morning, saying he was "in for Rob Morrison."  CBS 2 News' Maurice DuBois reported the story in the first block of the 5:00 p.m. newscast.