IN THE END, after the initial drama, repeated denials and weeks of waiting, the news was as expected as Mayor Nutter's inauguration:
Alycia Lane, the CBS 3 anchorbabe who swept into town in September 2003 and, within a few years, became a Philly and New York tabloid fixture, was fired yesterday by the television station.
The action comes three weeks after Lane was arrested in Lower Manhattan for allegedly assaulting a New York police officer. The Emmy-winning journalist also called the female cop a "f- - -ing dyke," according to a police report.
Lane, 35, was "released from her contract effective immediately" because "it would be impossible for Alycia to continue to report the news as she, herself, has become the focus of so many news stories," said Michael Colleran, president and general manager of CBS 3, in a statement issued before its 4 p.m. newscast yesterday.
The station acted "after assessing the overall impact of a series of incidents resulting from judgments she has made," Colleran said.
Lane was paid nearly $800,000 per year, according to station sources, and was under contract until September 2011.
Shortly after the station's announcement, Lane's lawyer, Paul Rosen, came roaring back.
"The conduct of [CBS 3] is contrary to the terms of her [Lane's] employment contract, which has many additional years remaining," Rosen said.
"The termination comes at a time when there has been absolutely no determination that Alycia is guilty of any wrongful conduct, and after [CBS 3] has aired her categorical denial of the alleged charge that is pending against her," Rosen said in his statement.
Lane's firing "is unfair," Rosen said, because the anchor never got the chance to defend herself against the charge pending in New York. She also wanted to tell her side of the story publicly, before CBS 3 took "this unusual and unwarranted step" to fire her, Rosen said. He added that "on the advice of counsel, Alycia cannot talk about these matters" because of the pending case in New York.
Rosen could file a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the station as early as today, say sources close to the situation. However, Rosen did not return e-mails or phone calls from the Daily News yesterday regarding his intentions to file such a suit.
The Daily News first reported Lane's arrest on PhillyGossip.com. On Dec. 16, she was charged with one count of assault with intent to cause physical injury to an officer.
Lane was in a cab riding through Chelsea with her beau, Q102 morning host Chris Booker, and another couple. New York City police said that the car in front of the group's cab was moving slowly and that one of the men in the cab jumped out to confront the vehicle.
Three plainclothes officers in the car then identified themselves and tried to direct the man, who they said was drunk, back to the cab, police said.
That's when Lane emerged from the cab and began to take photos with her iPhone, police said. She was asked to stand back by the female officer, prompting Lane to say, "I don't give a f- - - who you are, I'm a f- - -ing TV reporter, you f- - -ing dyke," according to police.
Parts of the phrases she allegedly used can be found on T-shirts, buttons and stickers on items sold on the Internet.
Lane was jailed overnight and released on her own recognizance by 5 p.m. She's expected back in court on April 3.
Following her release, Lane called Gov. Rendell to "tell her side of the story," according to the governor. That concerned officials at the station, who learned of Lane's arrest from the Daily News.
CBS3 did temper the firing by adding: "We wish to make clear that we are not prejudging the outcome of the criminal case against Alycia that is pending in New York. We understand that Alycia expects to be fully vindicated in that proceeding. We hope that is the case and we wish her the best in all her future endeavors."
The twice-married Lane, whose divorces and failed romances have been followed with interest by the local and New York media, made headlines last May when the New York Post reported that she had sent bikini photos of herself to married NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen, upsetting his wife, Suzy Shuster. Shuster, in turn, fired off a snarky e-mail to Lane that was published by the Post.
In October, Lane again made headlines for dating Chris Wragge, a WCBS-TV anchor in New York, who later dumped her after station management said they didn't want him associated with Lane and her negative publicity. *