Robservations: ABC 7 picks up ‘Tamron Hall’ to replace ‘Windy City Live’

Tamron Hall

Robservations on the media beat:

Tamron Hall’s syndicated daytime talk show is moving to ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, where it will air in place of “Windy City Live” at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting September 6. Soon to kick off its third season, the New York-based “Tamron Hall” has been airing here on Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26 and The U since 2019. John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, recalled Hall’s decade as a local news anchor and reporter at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 from 1997 to 2007. “Tamron Hall is an especially well-known and talented personality in our city, and I know our viewers will be excited to watch her show at 1 p.m.,” Idler said. “She already has so many fans in Chicago and we are thrilled to bring her authentic, distinctive and thoughtful conversations to ABC 7.” Hall said in a statement: “My love for Chicago is deep and real. It’s a second home for me and as we know there is no place like Sweet Home Chicago. Moving to the iconic ABC 7 is like winning life’s lottery. I look forward to joining forces with everyone there. I want to thank everyone at WCIU as their support over the past two years has been immeasurable in our success.” The locally produced “Windy City Live” will end its 10-year run as a weekday series September 3. “Tamron Hall” is produced by Walt Disney Television, a unit of ABC 7’s parent company. Continue reading

Robservations: Tribune’s loss is WBBM Newsradio’s gain as digital managing editor

WBBM Newsradio

Robservations on the media beat:

Lauren Hill

As part of a “multiplatform transformation” of its news brands nationwide, Audacy is putting more eggs in the digital news basket of WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM. Lauren Hill, who was a content editor and digital producer at the Chicago Tribune before she left with a buyout last month, has been hired as digital managing editor at the all-news station. Hill starts today in the newly created position. The journalism graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia joined the Tribune in 2014 and most recently was entertainment content editor. Along with managing editor Julie Mann and traffic operations manager Kevin Scott, she’ll report to Ron Gleason, brand manager of WBBM Newsradio. In an email to staffers, Gleason said additional hiring in the coming weeks will include a content producer, two social media and community editors, a managing editor of podcasts and multimedia, and two other podcast producers. Continue reading

Chicago City Hall reporter Bill Cameron to retire from WLS Radio

Bill Cameron

Bill Cameron, who’s reported on every Chicago mayor since Richard J. Daley, has announced his retirement as dean of the City Hall press corps.

“Half-a-century of day-to-day duties on the beat is probably enough,” Cameron tweeted Friday. “Time to go see more national parks!”

August 20 will be Cameron’s last day on the air at WLS 890-AM, the Cumulus Media news/talk station, where he also hosts the weekly public affairs show “Connected to Chicago.” The date also marks his 21st anniversary at the station. Continue reading

Derek Dalton swept out as CBS 2 general manager after investigation

Derek Dalton

Derek Dalton was forced out Thursday as president and general manager of WBBM-Channel 2 as part of a housecleaning of top management at CBS-owned stations in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

The shakeup followed an external investigation into allegations of misconduct by leadership at the stations group. No specific allegations against Dalton were cited in the company’s announcement or disclosed in a staff meeting. Continue reading

Robservations: ‘Windy City Live’ founder proud of show’s 10-year run

Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini

Robservations on the media beat:

Emily Barr

In 2011 there was no more daunting task in all of television than replacing “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in its home market of Chicago. That challenge fell to Emily Barr, then president and general manager of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Defying the odds, she launched “Windy City Live,” an ambitious locally produced talk show featuring a live studio audience each day. Barr hired producers Marlaine Selip and Cindy Patrasso and tapped Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini as co-hosts after months of auditions. “Very proud of the talented staff, past and present, who kept this local show going for 10 years,” Barr wrote on Facebook Wednesday after news of the show’s cancellation broke here. “Every beginning has an ending. So glad I could play a small part in getting this launched. Be proud of what you accomplished!” Barr left ABC 7 in 2012 to become president and CEO of Graham Media Group. Continue reading

ABC 7 cancels ‘Windy City Live’ after 10 years of ‘great television’

Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini

Ten years after it replaced “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on WLS-Channel 7’s daytime lineup, “Windy City Live” is about to get blown away.

The locally produced talk and entertainment show will cease production September 3 with its final airing as a Monday-through-Friday series, according to John Idler, president and general manager of the ABC-owned station.

“As we continue to navigate through our industry’s challenging times, we have had to make a tough business decision to sunset the daily airing of ‘Windy City Live,'” Idler wrote in an email to staff Wednesday. Continue reading

Robservations: NBC 5’s Michelle Relerford follows Olympic hopefuls to Tokyo

Michelle Relerford

Robservations on the media beat:

Calling it “the biggest assignment of my career,” WMAQ-Channel 5 morning news anchor Michelle Relerford arrived in Tokyo Tuesday to cover the 2020 Olympic Games for the NBC-owned station. “For more than a year, I’ve been following local Olympic hopefuls working hard to earn a spot on Team USA,” she said in a statement. “It is an honor to share their journeys, knowing that we could be witnessing history.” Through the closing ceremonies August 8, Relerford’s live reports from Tokyo will air during NBC 5’s 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. newscasts. Also on NBC 5, meteorologist Alicia Roman will host “The Olympic Zone,” a 30-minute nightly wrap-up of Olympics highlights, at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, starting this Thursday. “We’re excited to cover every local angle like never before across multiple platforms to bring our viewers the heart and passion of every story,” said Kevin Cross, president and general manager of NBCUniversal Local Chicago. Continue reading

Robservations: New WBEZ content chief wins Sulzberger Fellowship

Tracy Brown

Robservations on the media beat:

Tracy Brown, who joined WBEZ 91.5-FM as managing editor in 2019 and was promoted to chief content officer of the Chicago Public Media news/talk station in April, has been named a 2021 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program Fellow at Columbia University in New York. Endowed by the Sulzberger family to honor the late New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, the program is designed to train leaders of news organizations and media start-ups to innovate and solve business challenges. After two weeks at Columbia Journalism School fellows spend the next 18 weeks back at their organizations before returning for a final week at Columbia. Brown’s project will be to accelerate a strategic plan “to grow [a] younger and more diverse audience with new editorial products.” Continue reading

NewsNation expands with Dan Abrams talk show and ‘Morning in America’

Dan Abrams

Dan Abrams, chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News, will host a one-hour primetime talk show for NewsNation, Nexstar Media’s Chicago-based cable news network, starting in September.

The debut of “Dan Abrams Live,” airing from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, was announced today along with the launch of “Morning in America,” to be anchored from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays by Adrienne Bankert. Continue reading

Robservations: WGN drops ‘Chicago’s Best,’ expands ‘GN Sports’ to weekends

Elliott Bambrough and Marley Kayden

Robservations on the media beat:

Chicago’s Best

Say goodbye to “Chicago’s Best,” the delicious Sunday night food show on WGN-Channel 9. Co-hosted by Elliott Bambrough and Marley Kayden, it’s been a weekly treat on WGN (and the former CLTV) since its launch in 2010 with original co-hosts Brittney Payton and Ted Brunson. The cancellation, announced Thursday, coincides with the Nexstar Media station’s expansion of “GN Sports” to Saturdays and Sundays starting August 14. With the weekend additions, the sports highlights show will air seven nights a week at 10:30 p.m. A statement from management acknowledged “Chicago’s Best” won many awards and “brought viewers into some of the most interesting restaurants in Chicago,” adding: “We’d like to thank Elliott, Marley and the team that has worked so passionately on the show for so many years.” WGN also announced plans for “Daytime Chicago,” a locally produced magazine show to air at 10 a.m. weekdays, starting this fall. The syndicated talk show “Rachael Ray” is expected to move to afternoons. Continue reading