Just because he’s been promoted to the top news anchor job at WBBM-Channel 2 doesn’t mean Brad Edwards will be off the street.
One day after he was named to replace Rob Johnson as 5, 6 and 10 p.m. anchor alongside Irika Sargent at the CBS-owned station, Edwards said he has no intention of leaving the CBS 2 Investigators unit.
“I told my boss I’ll be an investigative reporter anchoring,” Edwards said Thursday. “We have important work to do. I can’t wait to work with Irika, but there will certainly be nights where she opens the newscast with the fact that I’m on assignment, and I will be. Chicago has a wealth of multi-talented anchors: singers, dancers, some play professionally — I’m just a news guy.”
Edwards, a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University, joined CBS 2 in 2012 after reporting stints in Indianapolis, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing.
He quickly became known for what some considered a theatrical reporting style and a tendency to draw attention to himself. He’s also proven to be a fierce competitor and outspoken champion for his station.
Last month Edwards publicly pushed back after “WGN Morning News” anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten and weatherman Paul Konrad mocked CBS 2 for offering tips to viewers on how to walk on icy surfaces.
Edwards shot back by tweeting: “Our whole damn medium is under attack. And let me tell you, we take A LOT of hits @cbschicago. In Chicago, gold standard @WGNNews dodged an ownership bullet, continue to do #1-rated TV, and . . . I expect more from them. ‘It’s all in good fun’ – they’ll say. That’s what bullies say.”
He later tweeted: “That’s it! We’re all in the same game. The rest was frivoloity.”
His promotion to top anchor at CBS 2 came without the usual fanfare that accompanies such announcements. Management revealed the move in an internal message that first noted the departures of Johnson and morning news anchor Marissa Bailey, whose contracts were not renewed. Edwards was named to replace Johnson, and reporter Mike Puccinelli was named to replace Bailey alongside Erin Kennedy.
Edwards stepped up with grace: “I started with Marissa the same day in 2012; she’s dear to me,” he said. “Rob was a friend and great advocate for others. I wish them, and assure them, the absolute best in next.”
For his part, Johnson posted this message on Facebook: “Just want to thank family, friends, co-workers, and viewers for the wonderful outpouring of support in the wake of this unfortunate news. I have had a wonderful 21 years in Chicago, and I expect to have many more. I am looking forward to taking some time off before I begin to write the next chapter. God Bless.”
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Carol Marin: Cancer makes a mistake tangling with Art Norman. We all at NBC5 have our bets on Art. And are cheerleading him on!