The men who run WFLD-Channel 32 want you to believe that Robin Robinson is happy to be walking away at the end of November from the top news anchor position she has held for the past 26 years.
They also hope you believe she will be thrilled to be fronting “Chicago at the Tipping Point” reports on the 9 o’clock newscast she has anchored since its inception.
How does she really feel about it?
Robinson, 56, a Chicago television icon and consummate communicator, can’t speak for herself. Like every other employee of the Fox-owned station, she’s muzzled by management that doesn’t allow her to talk to the media. (Never mind that Fox 32 is part of the media.)
So when news broke Monday that Robinson was being forced to step down after more than a quarter-century as anchor, Robinson had to remain silent while viewers reacted, fans erupted and Fox bosses in New York and Chicago scrambled to control the damage.
On Tuesday, I reached out to Robinson’s agent, Chicago attorney Andrew Stroth, who confirmed Robinson’s impending change at Fox 32 while keeping the door wide open for better things elsewhere.
“Robin is one of the most accomplished broadcast journalists in the country,” Stroth told me. “She will continue to engage viewers with the ‘Chicago at the Tipping Point’ series and explore other opportunities here and nationally.
“Robin has never been merely an observer who documents what happens in this city. She works for and with the viewers in every part of Chicagoland. Her unprecedented equity reflects not just years on the job, but passionate service as an authentic member of the community,” he said.
Tuesday night followup: Fox 32 officially announced Robinson’s departure as anchor, effective Nov. 27. Replacing her alongside co-anchor Jeff Herndon will be morning news anchor Dawn Hasbrouck.
“I will miss interacting every weeknight with the wonderfully engaged and informed Chicago news audience. It has been an honor and privilege,” Robinson said in a statement released by the station. “I look forward to continuing and even expanding a tradition of reporting stories that explore the issues, challenges and solutions that strive to make a difference in our lives.”
Fox 32 also confirmed the hiring of Jon Kelley and Melody Mendez to anchor “Good Day Chicago,” as previously reported here. With Anna Davlantes on her way out, that leaves her morning co-anchor, Corey McPherrin, twisting in the wind.