WGN-Channel 9 will move a step closer to around-the-clock news with the launch next month of a one-hour newscast at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the Tribune Broadcasting station announced Thursday.
The addition will bring “Chicago’s Very Own” to a record 70½ hours of news each week, plus news produced throughout the day for its CLTV cable channel.
Starting April 4, Mark Suppelsa and Micah Materre will anchor from 5 to 7 p.m., in addition to continuing to anchor from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Replacing them from 4 to 5 p.m. will be the newly paired team of Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte.
“We look forward to offering Chicagoland viewers a fresh new choice for news at 6 p.m. and the only local news in the market at 6:30 p.m.,” Jennifer Lyons, news director of WGN, said in a statement. “The debut of Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte at 4 p.m. will make a great addition to ‘Evening News’ with their news judgement, knowledge of Chicago and investigative story telling.”
Bradley joined WGN in January after 14 years at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Duarte, who has been at WGN since 2007, most recently has been anchoring from 4 to 6 a.m. with Dan Ponce. She previously anchored at 5 p.m. with Suppelsa.
Suppelsa, Duarte and Bradley also serve on “WGN Investigates,” the station’s investigative reporting team, with producer Marsha Bartel.
With Suppelsa and Materre from 5 to 7 p.m. will be chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and sports anchor Dan Roan. With Bradley and Duarte at 4 p.m. will be meteorologist Demetrius Ivory, who’ll continue to appear on “WGN Midday News.” WGN sports host Jarrett Payton will be added to anchor sports at 4 p.m.
No successors have been named for Duarte or Ivory on the early morning news.