Reporters join Bill Kurtis on ‘Through the Decades’

Bill Kurtis

Bill Kurtis

Correspondents Ellee Pai Hong and Kerry Sayers will join host Bill Kurtis when “Through the Decades” debuts May 25 on a new digital network being launched by Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting and CBS Television Stations.

Hong, former morning news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, and Sayers, former update anchor at CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670, will serve as reporters on the one-hour daily series being promoted as the centerpiece of the Decades network.

Ellee Pai Hong

Ellee Pai Hong

Memorial Day will mark the official launch of Decades on CBS-owned stations’ digital subchannels across the country. In Chicago, it’s been in testing mode since late January on WBBM 2.2, a subchannel of WBBM-Channel 2.

Under Weigel Broadcasting supervision, programming on the digital network will consist of six-hour repeated blocks of shows and movies from the 1950s through the 1980s “combined to create a daily time capsule, all built around a day or theme.”

As host of “Through the Decades,” Kurtis will guide viewers through the news of a particular day in history, using archival footage from CBS News, “Entertainment Tonight” and other sources. “I’m excited about the possibilities ahead and am delighted to participate in this fantastic opportunity to define the digital ‘age’ with new and innovative programming,” he said in an earlier statement.

An acclaimed documentary host and producer, Kurtis has a 48-year association with CBS, including four runs as news anchor at CBS 2 and two as a CBS News network correspondent. He stepped down from his last anchor job at CBS 2 alongside longtime partner Walter Jacobson in February 2013.

Kerry Sayers

Kerry Sayers

Hong, whose six-year stint at NBC 5 ended in 2009, most recently has been host of “Comcast Newsmakers” in Chicago. She also has taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a master’s degree.

Sayers signed off this week after six years at the Score. She previously was a reporter and co-host of “SportsNite” on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. She also was a free-lance sports anchor and reporter for Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

“A bittersweet day! My last at @670TheScore. I will miss all the great, hardworking people and friends I have made here over the last 6 yrs,” she tweeted. “I am very excited for my new job.”