WGN adds 6 p.m. newscast; teams Bradley & Duarte at 4 p.m.

Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte

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.

Mark Suppelsa and Micah Materre

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.