With WNYW/Channel 5 as the New York home to American Idol, membership has its privileges for entertainment reporter Julie Chang. In-season her focus is the “Idol Chatter” during the 10 p.m. newscast with Ernie Anastos and Dari Alexander. Chang had been handling entertainment fare on Good Day New York until recent personnel changes. Last year, Jill Nicolini was brought on board mornings from WPIX and Anne Craig left the station and the arts beat behind.
Chang just returned from Los Angeles after the Top 13 finalists were unveiled Thursday. She’ll return to the red carpet for the two-night finale in May.
FishbowlNY caught up with the busy, frequent flier for her take on season 11 of Idol, which remains the most popular show each week.
Among the group vying for the title are several singers with ties to the New York area: Elise Testone who grew up in Kinnelon, New Jersey; Jermaine Jones, who hails from Pine Hill, New Jersey; Jeremy Rosato was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, although listed Valrico, Florida as his hometown on the show. Rounding on the local field is Flushing’s Heejun Han.
“In the last ten years, eight of the winners have come from the South,” Chang tells FishbowlNY. “I feel that this year we really have a strong shot at having a winner from the Big Apple.”