WLS Channel 7, aka Oprah Winfrey‘s flagship outlet until Winfrey calls it quits next year, is making big and surprising plans to fill the 9 a.m. timeslot.
Until recently, it had been assumed (writes Robert Feder at Vocalo.org) that the station would fill the slot with another syndicated show. But WLS president and general manager Emily Barr says she’s received approval from her bosses to create an all-new morning show focused on local Chicago issues. It will be “lighter rather than heavier, fun without being too silly, smart without feeling too sophisticated,” Barr told Feder. But “I’m not trying to re-invent Oprah Winfrey. This is not going to be ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ with some new host.”
The station recently posted a job opening for an executive producer to “lead the development, staffing and production of a new one-hour live morning talk, entertainment and information show.” That person should have five years experience in live talk programming, and whoever it is, if you want in on this show, you want to be on their good side, because s/he will be hiring hosts, contributors and staff pretty quickly.