The next sound you hear will be hearts breaking all over Chicago.
With her contract up next month at WMAQ-Channel 5, Cheryl Scott is leaving the NBC-owned station after three years as weekend meteorologist.
Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, confirmed the station made an offer to renew Scott’s contract, but she has decided to explore other options. Her last day on air will be September 14.
“We appreciate Cheryl’s contributions over the past three years, and wish her the best in the future,” Whittaker told staffers in a memo.
It’s an undeniable loss for NBC 5, where Scott has been turning heads and winning fans since she joined the station in September 2011 from WBIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her social media following is among the largest at the station.
Scott’s agent, Chicago-based attorney Andrew Stroth, said he’s confident she will be in great demand from networks and local stations.
“Three years ago, [former general manager] Larry Wert and Frank Whittaker gave Cheryl the opportunity to work at NBC 5, one of the best TV stations in the country,” Stroth said in a statement. “She’s had a great experience at NBC and with the viewers in Chicago. At this stage in her career, she wants to explore her options to work as a meteorologist on a network or local level. She’s smart, thoughtful, engaging and wants to utilize weather as a platform to keep people informed and have a positive impact in the community. A big part of her heart will always be with NBC 5.”
In a recent interview, the New Jersey native and Brown University graduate had kind words for our town, too: “Chicago has been such a welcoming city, and I can’t think of a better city to work/live in, especially as a meteorologist,” Scott said. “When people recognize me, it’s the greatest compliment. I appreciate all of my viewers and only hope that at the end of the day, they can continue to put their trust in me and enjoy my weathercasts.”
Succeeding Scott as meteorologist on NBC 5’s Saturday and Sunday morning and evening newscasts will be Alicia Roman, who joined the station around the same time as Scott and has been working Monday through Friday on the noon newscast.
Returning to NBC 5’s weather team will be Byron Miranda, who was the station’s weekday morning meteorologist from 1998 until 2002. Miranda, who most recently has been at NBC-owned KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, will start here September 8 as meteorologist for the new 11 a.m. weekday newscast.
Stefan Holt and Marion Brooks will anchor the new one-hour newscast at 11 a.m., which will replace NBC 5’s current half-hour news at noon (which Brooks now anchors solo).
Following the 11 a.m. newscast, effective September 8, the station’s revamped weekday afternoon lineup will include “Days of Our Lives” at noon, “The Meredith Vieira Show” at 1 p.m., “Steve Harvey” at 2 p.m. and “Ellen DeGeneres” at 3 p.m.