ABC 7 promotes insider to lead ‘Windy City Live’

Matt Knutson

Matt Knutson

Matt Knutson, a line producer of “Windy City Live” since its debut in 2011, has been promoted to executive producer of the Monday-through-Friday talk and entertainment show on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.

Knutson, whose appointment was announced Wednesday, succeeds Marlaine Selip, the show’s founding executive producer, who voluntarily stepped down in April.

“Matt is a dynamic producer who is gifted in the art of making television,” Curtis Miles, vice president of creative services and local programming at ABC 7, said in a statement. “He has done a great job for us and we are excited to have him take on this new role as executive producer.”

Knutson’s promotion surprised some staffers, who saw management escort several prominent candidates through the station, including a former executive producer from Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios and a former executive producer of “The Jerry Springer Show.” In choosing Knutson, ABC 7 bosses also passed over “Windy City Live” supervising producer Cindy Patrasso, who has been serving as interim boss since Selip retired.

In addition to his work as a producer, Knutson occasionally appears on the show as a food correspondent in a segment called “Food Fight” for which he won a local Emmy Award.

Knutson, who grew up in Joliet and graduated from Northern Illinois University, joined ABC 7 after six years at Tribune Media, where he worked as a producer at CLTV and as a supervising producer on “Chicago’s Best,” the weekly food and lifestyle show.

Hosted by Valerie Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, the hourlong “Windy City Live” airs at 11 a.m. weekdays (with a rebroadcast at midnight).