Ben Bradley joins WGN as investigative reporter

Ben Bradley

Ben Bradley

Chicago news veteran Ben Bradley, who chose not to renew his contract last October after 14 years at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, has joined Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 as an investigative reporter.

Bradley, 41, signed a multiyear contract Wednesday to join the “WGN Investigates” team, working alongside news anchors Mark Suppelsa and Lourdes Duarte and producer Marsha Bartel. Sources said the deal also calls for Bradley to take on a Monday-through-Friday anchor role sometime in the coming months, confirming an earlier report here.

Under terms of his previous contract with ABC 7, Bradley had been sidelined for the last two months. During that time he declined to comment on his plans (and he also grew a beard).

In a brief interview Wednesday, Bradley said he was thrilled to join “Chicago’s Very Own” and particularly pleased to work with Suppelsa, Duarte and Bartel. “WGN is offering me what few others can: The opportunity to investigate, uncover and discover stories that are important to Chicagoans — and the time in a newscast to tell them properly,” he said.

Calling Bradley “the perfect addition to our team,” WGN news director Jennifer Lyons said in a statement: “His reputation, attention to detail, and his curiosity make him the perfect addition to bring ‘WGN Investigates’ to a new level.”

Wednesday’s announcement positioned the move as “a homecoming of sorts” for Bradley, who worked four years as a reporter and weekend anchor at CLTV, the Tribune Broadcasting cable news channel, before joining ABC 7 in 2002. A Chicago native and graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia, he previously worked for stations in Charleston, South Carolina, and Columbia, Missouri.

No replacement has been named for Bradley at ABC 7 as Saturday and Sunday morning news anchor alongside Stacey Baca, a post he held since 2010. ABC 7 officials declined to comment on Bradley’s move Wednesday.

Here is the text of the memo from Lyons to staff:

All –

I am pleased to let you know that Ben Bradley is joining WGN-TV as an Investigative Reporter.

We are thrilled to bring him on-board to grow our very successful WGN Investigates Franchise.

Ben will join Mark Suppelsa, Lourdes Duarte and Marsha Bartel in turning impactful stories that make us stand-out as Chicago’s Very Own.

Some of you worked with Ben during his time at CLTV and then brief per diem reporting time at WGN before he joined that other station in town.

Please join me in welcoming him home.

Jennifer