Richard Roeper, the Sun-Times film critic and one of Chicago’s best known journalists, is expected to be named a host of “Good Day Chicago,” the Monday-through-Friday morning news show on WFLD-Channel 32, sources said.
It will mark a return to the Fox-owned station for Roeper, who won two Chicago Emmy Awards during seven years as a commentator on “Fox Thing in the Morning” and co-host of “The Media Creatures,” a weekly segment with Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan.
Roeper was among numerous local personalities brought in to tape on-camera auditions with “Good Day Chicago” anchors in recent weeks. Among others were Sylvia Perez and Mike Caplan, both formerly of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, Patti Vasquez of Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, and Susanna Negovan, publisher of Splash.
Roeper, 56, is in his 33rd year with the Sun-Times, where he shifted from daily columnist to film critic in 2013 following the death of Roger Ebert. The two hosted the nationally syndicated movie-review show “Ebert & Roeper” for eight years.
As the latest personnel move at the low-rated morning show, Roeper’s hiring will follow the departure of Jon Kelley after two years as co-anchor of “Good Day Chicago,” and the arrival of George Smith, former anchor and reporter at WOIO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Cleveland. Corey McPherrin, Darlene Hill and Melody Mendez also host the show, which airs from 4:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays.
Nielsen averages for September showed Fox 32 tied for last place in mornings with CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, averaging a 1.1 rating (or 38,227 households) from 7 to 9 a.m. weekdays. By the 9 a.m. hour, “Good Day Chicago” was dead last by itself with a 0.6 rating (20,851 households) — down 14 percent from the year before.
Roeper, who has been contributing movie reviews to “Windy City Live” on a freelance basis, is expected to part company with the ABC 7 morning talk show. He’s expected to continue as a critic for the Sun-Times and a regular guest on Roe Conn’s afternoon show on WGN.