Erin Mendez has been upped to full-time status at Chicago’s WGN.

Mendez had been working as a freelance reporter for the Tribune-owned CW-affiliate and now, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, she has signed on to be an early morning anchor and daytime traffic reporter.

The move comes as WGN prepares to bump up its morning start-time to 4:00 a.m.

Before joining on with WGN, where she helped launch the station’s online traffic reporting show “CommuterCast” in 2007, Mendez worked at Tribune’s Chicago cable channel CLTV and Milwaukee’s WDJT.

Feder predicts that Mendez will be the first of a handful of hirings at WGN as the station prepares to expand its morning newscast.