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Chicago’s WMAQ Names Debra Juarez News Director

Debra Juarez, the senior news director of New England Cable News, is joining NBC owned-and-operated WMAQ as news director next month, the station announced yesterday.

The move marks a return to Chicago for Juarez, who was vice president of news at WFLD for 12 years beginning in 1993. After leaving the Fox O&O in 2005, she founded a production company that handled commercials, videos and documentaries for both English and Spanish media. She joined NECN in 2010.

WMAQ has been searching for an assistant news director since June, when Shannon Hammel decided weeks after being hired she would stay at KXAS. TimeOut Chicago’s Robert Feder reported that although Juarez will fill the empty spot, her title will be news director in deference to her experience. The last person to hold the news director title at WMAQ was Camille Edwards, who left the station in 2008.

“Debra brings a wealth of news and production experience to NBC 5, which will be a great asset for us as we strive to become even stronger,” WMAQ vice president of news Frank Whittaker said in a statement.  “I am delighted she has agreed to return to Chicago for this role.”

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