Published on Friday, 04 May 2012 18:45
WGN-TV's Mark Suppelsa announced late today that he is taking an extended personal leave of absence from his job. Suppelsa will be voluntarily entering a one month program at a rehab center in Minnesota next week.
Suppelsa sent a note to the WGN-TV staff today, informing them of what is happening in his life currently. Here is that note:
To my colleagues:
I want to share with you something I'm about to do. I'm going to be blunt here because that's my nature and because we're in a business where we seek the truth and it would be wrong of me not to be frank at this moment.
I'm driving soon with my family to Hazelden in Minnesota where they'll drop me off for a month long alcohol recovery program. I have felt for some time that this would become necessary and I've now crossed a bridge in my life where I want and need to do this.
It's my choice. No one is forcing me to do it.
Simply put, I have been abusing alcohol at the end of my work day as my family slept. It was my secret and I became very accomplished at hiding it. I do my best to function at a high level and I know that it is my responsibility to correct anything that potentially interferes with my family or my work.
With management's blessing, I plan to return next month once again ready for action to continue the valuable and important work that all of you are involved with. Thanks for absorbing this news which I'm sure will be a stunner for some or all. See you in June.
In a statement today
, Marty Wilke, WGN-TV Vice President and General Manager, wished Suppelsa well, saying: "We are supportive of Mark's efforts to deal with this issue and look forward to his return. We, and he, appreciate the support from our viewers."
Mark Suppelsa has been WGN-TV's lead news anchor since joining the station in the summer of 2008.
He started his television news career while still in college, working at a pair of stations in his native Wisconsin for a few years. That was followed by six years in Minneapolis, before finally coming to Chicago in 1993. Suppelsa worked as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV/NBC5 from July 1993-March 2003. He left WMAQ-TV to join WFLD-TV/FOX32, where he began as a reporter and fill-in anchor, eventually becoming its lead co-anchor. Suppelsa chose to not accept a renewal offer from WFLD-TV and signed on with WGN-TV in July 2008, co-anchoring its 9:00pm newscasts.
From April 2008 through October 2010, Suppelsa also served as newsman on the top-rated "Eric & Kathy Morning Show" on WTMX-FM.
Since coming to work in Chicago media, Suppelsa has won numerous awards, including six local Emmys Awards, an Edward R. Murrow award, a Peter Lisagor award, and a Silver Dome award.
Mark Suppelsa is married, with two children, and lives just north of Chicago.