Robservations on the media beat:
Making a giant leap from the 115th largest market to the third, Emily Wahls was named chief meteorologist at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 Wednesday. She’ll turn up on the station’s 4, 5 and 9 p.m. weekday newscasts, starting September 27. Wahls succeeds Bill Bellis, whose contract was not renewed in February. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Wahls spent more than seven years on CBS affiliate WLNS in Lansing, Michigan, and was to have started on the air this week at NBC affiliate WILX in Lansing (after a one-year no-compete) when Fox 32 beckoned. “I am thrilled to join the Fox 32 team and help viewers best prepare for the day’s weather,” Wahls said in a statement. “Living in Chicago has always been a dream of mine, and my family is excited to experience everything the city has to offer.” Continuing on Fox 32’s weather team are Mike Caplan, Kaitlin Cody, Mark Strehl and Tim McGill.
Although food fans have lost “Check Please!” and “Chicago’s Best” in recent weeks, Weigel Broadcasting has renewed its weekly restaurant show, “Chicago Food To Go,” for a second season. Hosted by Jon Hansen, the show airs at 11:30 a.m. Sundays on WCIU-Channel 26 and 10 a.m. Saturdays on The U. This weekend kicks off a viewer poll for best pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, burgers and barbeque. Online voting runs from Friday through September 19 at wciu.com/food. “Chicago’s status as a leading restaurant town is built on everyday family-owned businesses, and they deserve a weekly TV spotlight to show off unique creations,” Steve Farber, senior vice president of operations for Weigel Broadcasting, said in a statement.
WRLL 1450-AM, the Spanish-language station owned by Chicago-based Midway Broadcasting, has been granted permission to broadcast 24 hours a day by the Federal Communications Commission. The station previously shared the frequency with WCEV 1450-AM, the time-brokered ethnic and foreign-language station that’s been off the air since 2020. Last month the FCC canceled WCEV’s license and deleted its call letters. Midway Broadcasting, headed by Melody Spann Cooper, also operates news/talk WVON 1690-AM.
Nexstar Media, parent company of NewsNation and WGN-Channel 9, launched Rewind TV Wednesday as a Chicago-based digital subchannel featuring reruns of TV sitcoms. “We created Rewind TV to give Gen X viewers a network dedicated to their own nostalgic comedy classics,” Sean Compton, president of Nexstar’s networks division, said in a statement. “We’re excited about today’s debut, and looking forward to expanding the network to millions more viewers in additional markets across the country. Rewind has a lot of opportunity for growth.” In Chicago Rewind appears on WGN Channel 9.4.
Wednesday’s comment of the day: Patty Martin: BEST news possible! Laura [Duncan] is the ideal pick. She knows and gets the idiosyncrasies of XRT’s sound, understands nuance, is a fierce airstaff and programming advocate, already personally knows most of the airstaff, respects legacy, loves music of all kinds and is extremely familiar with XRT inside and out. Kudos to [Greg] Solk for another wise hire.