Robservations on the media beat:
After 16 years as a high-profile sports anchor in Chicago, is Ryan Baker switching to news? No one will say for sure, but Baker has been spending the week alongside Erin Kennedy as co-anchor of CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2’s weekday morning newscast. “No guarantees where it’s going,” he wrote on social media. “Nice to stretch myself.” He followed it with the hashtags “Grow or Die” and “Not Sticking to Sports.” Reporter Mike Puccinelli has been co-anchoring with Kennedy since March. Baker and CBS 2 officials did not respond to requests for comment. Baker, a south suburban native and graduate of Thornridge High School and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, joined CBS 2 in 2008 after five years at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. He previously worked as a sportscaster in Orlando, San Diego and Champaign.
Greg Dutra, a meteorologist at KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver, is joining the weather front at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Starting September 23, Dutra will appear on ABC 7’s weekend morning newscasts. A graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont, he previously worked at KWQC, the NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa, and WABI, the CBS affiliate in Bangor, Maine. “Greg’s weather forecasting skills and dynamic personality make him a perfect fit for our weather team,” said Jennifer Graves, vice president of news at ABC 7. Mark McGinnis, who’s been filling in on weekends since Larry Mowry moved up to weekdays in January 2018, will “continue on the team providing fill-in when available,” according to Graves.
Dorothy Humphrey, who’s been synonymous with radio traffic in Chicago for 25 years, is out as manager of Total Traffic and Weather Network in a budget cut. Monday was her last day on the job. “We wish her the very best in her future endeavors,” Rick Sirovatka, regional vice president of operations, wrote in an email to staffers. Humphrey, a graduate of Columbia College and onetime sidekick to Kevin Matthews, previously worked for Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services.
Maggie Huynh, field producer and assignment editor at WBBM-Channel 2, is leaving the CBS-owned station to work in the press office of the Chicago Police Department. Before joining CBS 2 in 2015, Huynh was an assistant producer at Entercom all-news WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM. Earlier the Lincoln Park High School and University of Illinois graduate worked as an intern at Entercom adult album alternative WXRT 93.1-FM and WBBM Newsradio.
Amy Williams, who was driving the car in which Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock was fatally injured last April, was released this week from a hospital in Savannah, Georgia. “My mind and my heart are still inconsolable,” Williams wrote on Facebook with a photo of her in a wheelchair. “Nothing makes sense to me about any of this. Chet was a voice of reason for me in almost every personal and professional travail throughout the years. He was always the first person in line to help. This man was one of the most brilliant, witty, warm and genuine people I’ve ever known. He was my heart.” Williams, a former Chicago TV producer, said she was driving with Coppock from Charleston to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to visit her parents when the accident occurred.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: Chad Rubel: If we had old school radio competition, we would soon have a station flip to classic rock to compete with The Drive. Clearly there is an audience for the music.