Beloved employee of Ohio NBC station FIRED over ‘unauthorized’ Facebook post celebrating Straight Pride

Pickard's termination from WFMJ resulted in individuals criticizing the network on X, with advocates hoping to see her file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

A staffer at an Ohio NBC News affiliate was fired on Tuesday for posting an “unauthorized” meme on Facebook in support of "Straight Pride" during June's Pride month. WFMJ in Youngstown announced the employee's termination and released a public apology over the "concerning" incident. 

Madonna Chism Pickard, who was the station's community relations director, posted a meme on her personal Facebook account earlier this month featuring a newlywed man and woman along with a caption that read: "Celebrate Straight Pride," "It's Natural, It Has Worked for Thousands of Years, And You Can Make Babies!" 


Pickard, whose profile picture featured a company logo, quickly took the post down and apologized for offending viewers, according to Mahoning Matters. However, the damage was seemingly already done, and WFMJ released a statement condemning Pickard's actions. 

"Dear WFMJ Viewers, Early this morning, WFMJ management was made aware of an unauthorized social media post by a WFMJ employee. That post has since been removed. WFMJ is conducting an investigation into the unauthorized post. We are concerned by this incident and are moving forward with a thorough investigation," the station wrote on Facebook on June 6. 

On Tuesday, the station released a follow-up post and announced Pickard's termination. 

"WFMJ has terminated the employment of our Community Relations Director following her unauthorized post on a company-linked social media site last week. WFMJ is committed to serving our entire community with the respect we believe all people deserve. We recognize we live in a diverse community with differing views on many topics, and we believe discussions of those views and reporting on them should be done in a respectful manner by all. We deeply regret that our Community Relations Director crossed the line," the station continued. 

"We do not condone such actions and apologize to you, our viewers, for this unauthorized post," they concluded. 

Pickard's termination resulted in individuals criticizing the network on X, with advocates hoping to see her file a wrongful termination lawsuit. 

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