Marc Watts confirms breakup with Diann Burns


Diann Burns and Marc Watts, once among Chicago’s highest-profile media couples, apparently have split.

In an interview with Richard Prince’s Journal-isms Friday, Watts said he and Burns “are not really together anymore” and called their split amicable. Their 14-year-old son, Ryan, is a high school freshman in Orange County, California.

Watts, a former CNN correspondent who later became a Chicago-based talent agent and media trainer, dissolved his company, Signature Media Group, before he moved to Los Angeles in February 2011. A few months earlier, when I asked him whether he had closed the firm, Watts told me: “No, I'm still serving as an agent to a handful of clients. Representation of local news people doesn't jazz me up anymore.”

Watts’ biggest client had been Burns, the former Chicago news anchor whose reported five-year, $10 million contract at CBS 2 made her the city’s highest paid anchor. She was dropped in 2008 after ratings failed to increase at the station.

Burns and Watts, who were married in 1995, sold their 13-room mansion in Lincoln Park for $4.525 million, according to the Chicago Tribune. Earlier, the residence had been the subject of front-page headlines when the couple sued their contractor, alleging he did shoddy work because they are black. The suit was dropped after an undisclosed settlement.

In 2010 Burns resurfaced on local television as host of Next TV, a Chicago Urban League business and lifestyle magazine show on Fox Chicago.

Watts told Journal-isms that he has been named to the newly created position of director of media talent for the NFL (TV) Network, based in Los Angeles. "I decided to go in a different direction," he said.

The news also was reported Monday by


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)