Lauren Jiggetts, who resigned last April after 10 years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, is about to return to Chicago television as a Monday-through-Friday news anchor for the top-rated “WGN Morning News,” sources said.
Jiggetts is expected to join Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 next month as co-anchor with Dan Ponce from 4 to 6 a.m. She will succeed Lourdes Duarte, who shifted to the station’s 4 p.m. newscast alongside Ben Bradley earlier this year.
Speculation that Jiggetts might land as a weekday anchor at WGN first surfaced when she chose not to renew her contract as 5 and 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday anchor at NBC 5. At the time she called it “the right decision for me personally and professionally,” adding: “I look forward to whatever the future may bring.”
It is believed that she was bound by a 90-day non-compete period in her former contract.
A Chicago native who grew up in north suburban Long Grove and graduated from Stevenson High School, Jiggetts is the daughter of former Chicago Bears offensive tackle and longtime sportscaster Dan Jiggetts. She interned at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 and Tribune cable news channel CLTV before graduating cum laude from Harvard University (her father’s alma mater) with a degree in sociology.
She also worked at Channel One News in Los Angeles and WLVI, the CW affiliate in Boston, prior to joining NBC 5 as a general assignment reporter in 2007. She was promoted to weekend anchor in 2012.
In addition to receiving multiple Emmy Awards and the Irv Kupcinet Media Award from the Ed Kelly Foundation for her work, Jiggetts was named Chicago’s best-looking TV personality by the editors of Newcity.
Jiggetts was among several high-profile personalities who’ve voluntarily left NBC 5 in recent years, including news anchors Rob Elgas and Anthony Ponce, meteorologists Cheryl Scott and Byron Miranda, and sports anchor Paula Faris, among others.