It’s a new morning at Weigel Broadcasting with the addition this week of two new reporters to the staff of “You & Me” on WCIU-Channel 26.
Chicago natives Ashley Barnes and Rodney Spencer have joined the local talk-and-entertainment show, airing from 6 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on The U. Their hiring follows a realignment of the show earlier this year when it was cut from three hours to two.
Former Chicago radio personalities Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow, who have hosted “You & Me” since it debuted in 2009, continue with the show, which also features reporters Chris DeRose and Jon Hansen.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Ashley and Rodney to the ‘You & Me’ family,” senior executive producer Rob Morhaim said in a statement Tuesday. “They both bring experience, energy and their great personalities to the show, and we can’t wait for our loyal viewers to welcome them into their homes each and every morning.”
Barnes, a graduate of Loyola University and former intern at “You & Me,” most recently was a reporter at WGBA, the NBC affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She previously worked as a producer at WAND, the NBC affiliate in Decatur, Illinois, social media coordinator for Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and a weekly co-host at Midway Broadcasting urban news/talk WVON AM 1690. Her former on-air name was Ashley Aviyah.
Spencer, who attended California State University at Northridge, was a reporter at WHAS, the ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, and WTVJ, the NBC-owned station in Miami, and also worked for the syndicated programs “Extra” and “The List.”
Look for “You & Me” to continue to reposition itself in an effort to increase viewership. In last spring’s Nielsen sweep, the show averaged a 0.2 rating (6,950 households) — half the audience it had two years ago.