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Chicago

WGN to Add 4 p.m. Newscast in September

wgn-logoWGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago, is adding a 4 p.m. newscast this fall, Robert Feder reports:

Greg Easterly, president and general manager of the Tribune Broadcasting station, told staffers Wednesday the expansion would reinforce the brand of “Chicago’s Very Own.” “We have plenty of decisions and brainstorming in front of us . . . but I thought you all would like to know where we are headed,” he wrote in a memo. “It’s clear WGN has a unique place in the market and a true connection to Chicago — let’s build on it.”

No decision has been made on a talent lineup for the new 4 p.m. newscast, but insiders said it’s likely that news anchors Mark Suppelsa and Lourdes Duarte and chief meteorologist Tom Skilling, who currently front WGN’s 5 p.m. news hour, will be involved. There also may be a role for Micah Materre, who co-anchors at 9 p.m. with Suppelsa.

Zoraida Sambolin on Returning to WMAQ: ‘The Response Has Been Humbling’

zoraida sambolin_304x200As Zoraida Sambolin prepares to rejoin WMAQ, she does a Q+A with Robert Feder about her return to Chicago:

What’s been the response to your return to NBC 5?

The response has been humbling. Many of our loyal viewers followed my career at CNN, prayed for me during my health crisis and are now embracing my return to their morning routine. I feel incredibly fortunate. The team I left has changed a bit, but they’ve all been very welcoming, and the staff and crew have always been like family. It all feels right and Daniella [Guzman] is excited about her new opportunities in L.A.

Does the place seem any different since you left? Read more

Erin Kennedy Joins WBBM From WKYC

Erin KennedyErin Kennedy is joining WBBM, the CBS-owned station in Chicago, as co-anchor of the morning newscast. She will begin in her new role on May 19.

“Erin is an exceptional broadcaster,” WBBM vice president and news director Jeff Kiernan said in a statement. “She’s an experienced news anchor and reporter who will bring an intelligence and warmth to morning news in Chicago.”

Since 2011, Kennedy has been an anchor and reporter at WKYC, the NBC affiliate in Cleveland. Before that, she worked at WPRI in Providence for six years.

Kennedy will co-anchor alongside Kris Gutierrez. She is the official replacement for Susan Carlson, who left the station last year, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder.

WGN News Director Greg Caputo Set to Retire

wgn-logoLongtime WGN news director Greg Caputo will retire from the Chicago CW affiliate next month, The Chicago Tribune reports:

Caputo, who has headed up the Tribune Co. station’s news operation since 2002, told staffers Monday he is stepping down at the end of June. … “Being a part of WGN was a goal for me for years,” Caputo said.  “Being here for the last 11 years has been even better than I thought it would be.”

No successor has been named, according to executives.

Before WGN, Caputo worked at WLVI in Boston and WFLD in Chicago.

After 2 Years at CNN, Zoraida Sambolin Rejoins WMAQ

zorida sambolinAfter two years at CNN, Zoraida Sambolin is returning to her old station — WMAQ in Chicago — as the co-anchor of the morning newscast.

“We are delighted that Zoraida will be returning to our newsroom,” WMAQ station manager Frank Whittaker said in a statement. “She’s a native Chicagoan and knows our city well.  I know our viewers will welcome her back.”

Sambolin replaces Daniella Guzman, who has been named the morning co-anchor at KNBC, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles. >Update: KNBC has officially announced Guzman as morning co-anchor.

“Daniella has been a key part of our morning news growth, and while we hate to see her go, we are happy that she can take advantage of this promotion within our company,” WMAQ general manager David Doebler said. Read more

Tribune Names Patricia Golden VP of Sales

tribune broadcastingPatricia Golden has been named vice president of sales at Tribune Broadcasting. In her new role, which begins April 14, Golden will oversee sales at Tribune’s 42 owned or operated stations.

“Patty is a dynamic and strategic sales leader, well known in the industry for delivering successful media strategies and solutions to advertisers, and inspiring sales teams. Patty will be an incredible asset to Tribune and I look forward to having her join the team,” Tribune Broadcasting senior vice president of sales Angela Betasso said in a statement.

Golden joins Tribune from WMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago, where she has been senior vice president of sales since 2005. She previously worked as the local sales manager for WGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago.

Susan Carlson Named Reporter, Fill-In Anchor at WMAQ

susan carlsonAfter several months freelancing at NBC-owned WMAQ, Susan Carlson has been named a full time reporter and fill-in anchor at the Chicago station, Robert Feder reports.

“I’m extremely delighted that Susan will be joining us full-time,” WMAQ vice president of news Frank Whittaker told Feder. “She’s a born and bred Chicagoan who knows our city and suburbs well. Her years of local reporting will be a great addition to our staff.”

Carlson began appearing on WMAQ in July, two months after she was released from WBBM, the CBS-owned station in Chicago.

Local Morning Shows Beating Network Shows in Largest Markets

AM shows_570

The morning show battles aren’t just between ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today Show anymore. TVNewsCheck reports a smaller, leaner, local opponent has entered the arena.

In March, on FOX owned station WNYW “Good Day New York” beat GMA with a 1.425 rating among 25-54 year-olds compared to GMA’s 1.421. Chicago CW affiliate WGN and Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA also beat both GMA and Today in mornings by a larger margin.

Circling above New York on a frigid morning two weeks ago, WNYW’s helicopter spotted a lone surfer along the coast of Long Island and fed the images to the Fox O&O’s Good Day New York. As the surfer struggled to catch a wave, co-hosts Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto provided rather snarky commentary.

The next day, they featured the surfer, Doug Bard, on the four-hour morning show to learn about cold-weather surfing. They received a bar of Sex Wax (look it up) from him and Bard got a chance to do the weather in front of the green screen.

“In all these cases, the shows are anchored by extremely likeable, fun, accessible talent that isn’t afraid to make fun of themselves,” TV Guide Los Angeles Bureau Chief Michael Schneider told TVNewsCheck. “The anchors on these local shows just feel more real.” Read more

Terrell Brown to Join WLS as Reporter

Terrell BrownTerrell Brown will join Chicago ABC owned station WLS as general assignment reporter and contributing anchor.

Brown, who starts in two weeks, comes to WLS from CBS News where he anchored Up to the Minute and the CBS Morning News. He was also a fill-in anchor for CBS Evening News on the weekend.

Brown previously worked as an anchor and reporter for WWBT in Richmond, VA.

image: @ClarkeLSmith

Almost Five Months After Joining WFLD, Morning Executive Producer Reportedly Out

wfld_304TVSpy is hearing from sources MJ Witt, executive producer for WFLD‘s “Good Day Chicago,” is out after nearly five months.

Witt started at the Chicago FOX owned station in November. At that time,”Good Day Chicago” was getting two new anchors (Jon Kelley and Melody Mendez)and an entertainment reporter (Jake Hamilton).

She started her career in Chicago, working for WMAQ, WTTW and WLS.  She has also been a producer on “Extra,” “Inside Edition,” and ABC’s “20/20.”

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