Calling it “a freaking honor” to have worked on “Windy City Live” since its inception, Ji Suk Yi surprised viewers Friday by signing off as a regular contributor to the WLS-Channel 7 talk and entertainment show.
Yi’s position was eliminated in a cost-saving move at the ABC-owned station, according to insiders. She will not be replaced. Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini continue as co-hosts of the show, which airs at 1 p.m. weekdays on ABC 7.
“We thank Ji for her many contributions to ‘Windy City Live,’ ” an ABC 7 statement said. “Her intelligence and talent as an on-air personality will serve her well in her next endeavor and we wish her nothing but the best.”
Yi, who emigrated from South Korea when she was five years old and grew up in rural North Carolina, attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, and earned a law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She joined ABC 7 in 2006 as a newsroom desk assistant and was tapped for the job of social media producer when “Windy City Live” premiered in 2011. Her role on the show expanded to daily on-air contributor and resident foodie.
“What a freaking honor it has been to be invited into your homes and to get to know you,” Yi told viewers in a four-and-a-half minute farewell announcement Friday. “The validation and kindness you’ve shown me gives me continual hope and strengthens me on my journey.
“I hope my unlikely story of a Korean-American first-generation immigrant from a small podunk town down south, moving to the big, big city of Chicago 12 years ago with two suitcases, knowing one person in the city, inspires you to maybe try something you’ve always wanted to do no matter how small or big.”
Friday’s best comment: Patty Martin: Cara [Carriveau] is one of the best DJ’s in Chicago, hands down. And she’s one of the rare talents who is fully relatable to men OR women (or both) depending on which station she’s on. Cara also completely understands the value of social media, and is a master at implementing it effectively, creating a real connection with her listeners. She loves being on the air and that comes fully across on-air, on social and in person. Chicago Radio needs Cara on its airwaves. Period.