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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Graves’

Doug Whitmire Named WLS 10:00 p.m. EP

whitmore wlsChicago ABC owned station WLS has promoted Doug Whitmire to executive producer of the 10:00 p.m. news.

“Doug has done a terrific job leading the morning team for the past 6 ½ years,” WLS VP and news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “Doug’s knowledge of Chicago and the ABC 7 newsroom makes him the ideal choice to take the reins at 10 PM.”

Whitmire has been the EP of the morning news since 2008.

Before coming to WLS in 2003, Whitmire worked at WTVG in Toledo, OH.

The station said he would split his time between newscasts until a morning replacement is hired.

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WLS to Add Assistant News Director

burke wlsWLS has announced Sarah Dunlap Burke will join the ABC owned Chicago station as assistant news director August 25.

Burke comes to WLS from WBZ in Boston where she was the acting news director.

“Sarah Burke is a strong news leader with impressive experience,” WLS VP and news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “Sarah understands the Chicago market’s love of news because she grew up here, and that’s a great plus for us too.”

Before joining WBZ in April 2013, Burke was an executive producer at WCBS in New York. She also worked at KCNC in Denver.

Chicago Station Invests in Investigative Unit

wls_304Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Chicago ABC owned station WLS‘ investment in its investigative unit is good news for local television.

Feder says WLS chief investigative reporter Chuck Goudie “heads a franchise that has expanded its brand, doubled its personnel and elevated local TV to a new competitive level in recent months.”

“Our investigative team has been a hallmark of ABC 7 Eyewitness News, working incredibly hard to find stories important to our viewers,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director, said in a statement. “By expanding resources and adding a consumer focus, we are building on the I-Team’s strength of enterprise reporting.  I’m very proud of the quality work our I-Team contributes to our news product on a daily basis.” Read more

Chicago ABC Station Adds to I-Team

wls_knowles_croppedWLS has moved general assignment reporter Jason Knowles to investigative reporter.

“Jason is no stranger to incisive investigative reporting,” Jennifer Graves, VP and news director of the Chicago ABC owned station, said in a statement. “Jason is a tenacious reporter and knows how to dig up a good story.  He’ll be a valuable asset to the I-Team and will undoubtedly work well with Chuck Goudie, whose reputation for investigative journalism is outstanding.”

Knowles joins the station’s I-Team, led by Goudie, January 20.

Before coming to WLS, Knowles worked at WTVG in Toledo and WKAG in Hopkinsville, KY. He started working at WLS in 2004 as a special projects producer and was named general assignment reporter in 2009.

Gil Soffer Joins WLS as Legal Analyst

gil sofferGil Soffer is joining WLS, the ABC owned station in Chicago, as a legal analyst, the Chicago Business Journal reports.

Soffer, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, is the managing partner of Katten, Muchin and Rosenman’s Chicago office.

“Gil offers tremendous input and clarity on criminal law cases with his years of experience as both a defense attorney and federal prosecutor. He is smart, articulate, quick-witted and does an impressive job simplifying complex cases for our viewers,” news director Jennifer Graves said.

WLS Expands Weekend Morning News

wls_304Starting November 2, WLS viewers who are early risers will get to see an extra hour of weekend morning news.

The ABC owned station in Chicago will start its weekend morning news at 5:00 a.m. making two, two hour blocks of news bookending Good Morning America on the Weekends.

The first block will air from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m., followed by GMA from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. Then WLS airs its second block of news from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

In a statement, WLS vice president and news director Jennifer Graves said, “I’m pleased we can serve our community with expanded news and weather coverage and give viewers the information they need to kick off their weekend.”

Ben Bradley will join his Sunday morning co-anchor Stacey Baca on Saturday’s morning news.

WLS to Launch Live Streaming Newscast

Starting Monday, Chicago ABC owned station WLS will begin producing a live streaming newscast called “ABC7 to Go.”

“As Chicago’s news leader, it’s exciting to provide the only regularly scheduled live, digital newscast in the market,” said WLS vice president and news director Jennifer Graves. “ABC 7 to Go is designed  to give our viewers a new way to access the day’s latest news and weather, wherever they may be.”

The live ten minute newscast will air weekdays at noon and feature anchor Alan Krashesky and meteorologist Mike Caplan along with reporters Jason Knowles and Jessica D’Onofrio giving live reports from the field as well as looking at what’s trending in the digital world.

“ABC7 to Go” will be available on the station’s website and on its apps. The newscast will also be available on-demand in the early afternoon.

WLS Promotes Freelance Reporter Michelle Gallardo

After seven years as a freelance reporter for ABC owned-and-operated WLS in Chicago, Michelle Gallardo has been promoted to a full-time employee.

“Michelle has proven herself time and time again in the past seven years working for ABC 7 News as a freelance reporter,” WLS news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “She has shown her versatility, dedication and determination, and I have no doubt she will have continued success in this new position.”

Gallardo’s promotion is effective tomorrow. TimeOut Chicago’s Robert Feder notes the move takes place the same week as the station expands 10 p.m. weekend newscasts to one hour each.

WLS News Director Jennifer Graves: ‘We Now Think of Ourselves As News Content Providers’

TimeOut Chicago has an interview with Jennifer Graves, who is going on her 10th year as vice president and news director for Chicago’s WLS, about how the industry has changed during her tenure. Graves pointed to evolving technology as the biggest difference from the last decade:

We now think of ourselves as news content providers — not only news broadcasters. Like most newsrooms now, we are feeding on-air, our website, iPad and other mobile apps and social media. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring? All in all, these platforms make it an exciting time to be in this business and offer us new ways to fulfill our mission, which is to bring local information to the Chicago area.

Following in His Father’s Footsteps, Rafer Weigel Joins Chicago’s WLS

Chicago’s WLS announced this week that Rafer Weigel is joining the station as a weekend sports anchor/reporter.  He replaces Ryan Chiaverini, who was picked to co-host “Windy City Live,” the ABC-affiliate’s “Oprah” replacement (“Live” was previously being called “Morning Rush).

Weigel, 41, is the son of the late Tim Weigel, who spent nearly two decades with WLS as a sports anchor and reporter.

“Rafer Weigel is a talented broadcaster who has worked hard to earn his stripes,” said Jennifer Graves, WLS’s vice president and news director, in making the announcement. “His father is an important part of ABC 7′s sports legacy and we are thrilled that another Weigel will again be working the sports beat at our station.”

Weigel has worked as a reporter for Sacramento’s KOVR as well as San Diego’s KUSI.  Most recently he served as a sports anchor for HLN’s morning show.

Before becoming a TV journalist, Weigel worked as an actor.  Read more