Without fanfare — or even an official announcement — WMAQ-Channel 5 has added former New York sports and lifestyle personality Siafa Lewis to its daily sports lineup. He’s been working as a freelance reporter and sports anchor at the NBC-owned station since May 19.
The closest thing to a formal introduction was this tweet May 21 from sports anchor Peggy Kusinski: “Welcome #NBC5 Chicago’s newest sportscaster @SiafaLewisNBC to Chicago!”
And this tweet on May 23 from news anchor Rob Elgas: “A big welcome to the @nbcchicago family for @siafalewisnbc, the best dressed sports guy in Chicago! Sorry @MarkGiangreco7 and @RaferWeigel.”
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.
“I cover sports in one of the world’s best sports towns!!!” Lewis wrote on his LinkedIn profile. “Lucky and BLESSED!”
Lewis, 35, was born in West Germany to Liberian parents who were graduate students. They moved to New Jersey when he was 7. Lewis graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., with a degree in radio, TV and film. After pursuing modeling and acting, he won a contest to report traffic for WCAU-TV, the NBC-owned station in Philadelphia, in 2004.
He shifted to sports as a reporter and pre-game and post-game host for SportsNet New York and later was a host and correspondent for LXTV in New York, the lifestyle and entertainment programming production unit created by NBC Universal. He doubled as a sports anchor and reporter for WNBC-TV, the NBC-owned station in New York.
Lewis most recently worked as an account executive for Isaia men’s fashion and in sales for Boyds, a Philadelphia department store.