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Posts Tagged ‘Frank Whittaker’

WMAQ Launches 11 a.m. Newscast, Shuffles Meteorologists

byron mirandaWMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago, is making changes to its morning programming. Beginning September 8, the station will debut an hourlong 11 a.m. newscast that will replace the current half-hour noon newscast.

“A lot of news breaks during the day. Our expanded news at 11 am will allow us to even better serve our viewers with the latest news and weather information,” WMAQ vice president of news and station manager Frank Whittaker said in a statement.

Anchoring the 11 a.m. newscast will be Stefan Holt and Marion Brooks, alongside meteorologist Byron Miranda (pictured), who returns to WMAQ after more than a decade away. Most recently, he has worked as the weekend evening meteorologist at KNBC, the NBC-owned station in Los Angeles.

In addition to Miranda’s hire, there are further changes to the station’s weather team: Robert Feder reports weekend meteorologist Cheryl Scott is leaving WMAQ when her contract is up next month. Scott is exploring options “to work as a meteorologist on a network or local level,” according to Feder. Read more

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WMAQ Adds Sportscaster Siafa Lewis

siafa lewisSiafa Lewis has joined WMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago, as a freelance reporter and sports anchor, Robert Feder reports:

Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, confirmed the new addition on Tuesday, adding that the hiring of Lewis “will mean less use of some of our other freelancers.” He did not say whose work would be cut back.

Lewis has previously worked as a traffic reporter for WCAU in Philadelphia and as a sports anchor and reporter for WNBC in New York.

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

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.

After 16 Years at WMAQ, Kim Vatis Leaving For ‘New Adventures’

kim vatisAfter 16 years at WMAQ, Kim Vatis is leaving the NBC owned station in Chicago, media reporter Robert Feder reports.

In a note to WMAQ staff obtained by Feder, vice president of news Frank Whittaker said Vatis is “an integral part of NBC 5 News both on the street as a reporter and on the anchor desk. Her work is exemplary — she is aggressive, hard-working and always gets the goods.”

“Kim has decided it’s time for a change in her life. With her daughter, Dakota, now off to college, Kim is hoping to travel more and take on other projects outside of local television news,” Whittaker wrote. “While Kim is off to new adventures, she and I have discussed continuing her relationship with NBC 5 News on a part-time basis, both for daily reporting and special projects. We’ll be working out those details in the weeks ahead.”

Vatis, the weekend morning anchor, will officially sign off December 1.

Lauren Jiggetts Upped to Weekend Anchor at WMAQ

Lauren Jiggetts has been promoted to co-anchor of WMAQ‘s weekend newscasts.

Jiggetts joined the Chicago NBC O&O as a general assignment reporter in 2007. She will anchor weekends at 5 and 10 p.m. alongside Dick Johnson, who stepped into the role of weekend anchor in April. Jiggetts will continue to report during the week.

“This promotion is well-deserved.  Over the past five years, Lauren has grown her skills as a reporter for both the morning and evening newscasts on NBC 5,” vice president of news Frank Whittaker said in a statement. “Most recently, she did a superb job covering our local athletes at the London Olympics. I’m delighted we are able to promote from our own ranks.”

Jiggets is the daughter of former Chicago Bears offensive lineman turned broadcaster, Dan Jiggets.

Jeff Goldblatt Leaving Chicago’s WMAQ

Jeff Goldblatt is leaving Chicago NBC O&O WMAQ, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder.

Goldblatt is a former Fox News Channel correspondent who left the network in 2008 to join WFLD, the Fox O&O in Chicago. He joined WMAQ as a freelance reporter and fill-in anchor in 2010.

“Jeff has been a big help over the last two years working on a part-time basis,” WMAQ’s station manager and VP of news Frank Whittaker wrote in a memo. “Along the way he has broken several stories for NBC 5. We thank him for all he’s done.”

Feder reports that Goldblatt is leaving to join a station in another market as a main anchor.

Traffic Reporter Kye Martin Joins WMAQ

Kye Martin is joining WMAQ as a traffic and transportation reporter, the Chicago NBC O&O announced today.

Martin will begin at the station on July 23. She will report on traffic conditions for the morning newscast and cover general transportation issues for the station.

“I’m pleased that Kye Martin is joining NBC 5 News as our traffic and transportation reporter,” vice president of news Frank Whittaker said in a statement.  “We are bringing traffic back to our news studio and Kye will be joining the rest of the morning team at Studio 5.” Read more

Chicago’s WMAQ Shuffles Weekend Anchor Lineup

WMAQ, the NBC O&O in Chicago, has announced a shake-up to its weekend anchor lineup beginning next month.

Anthony Ponce has officially been named weekend morning co-anchor. Ponce has been filling in alongside Kim Vatis since Stefan Holt‘s promotion in February.

Dick Johnson, who currently anchors the Sunday evening newscasts, will add the Saturday evening newscasts to his anchoring duties, replacing Lisa Parker. She will return to reporting full-time and will fill in as an anchor as needed, according to a WMAQ statement. Read more

Stefan Holt Moves to Weekday Mornings at WMAQ

WMAQ‘s Stefan Holt has been named weekday morning anchor at the NBC O&O, Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports.

Holt, who currently anchors the weekend morning newscasts, is the son of NBC News anchor Lester Holt. Starting Monday, he will anchor the 4:30 – 7 a.m. weekday newscasts.

“Since joining us last June, Stefan has distinguished himself both in the field and on the anchor desk,” WMAQ station manager Frank Whittaker wrote in a memo to staffers obtained by Feder. “His reassuring style and pleasant personality are a perfect fit for our morning team.”

Rob Elgas, who currently helms WMAQ’s early morning newscasts, will take over as co-anchor of the weekday 4:30 p.m. newscasts.

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