Julie Mann, the first-rate broadcast journalist who has led the newsroom of WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM as managing editor for more than a decade, is leaving after 25 years at the top-rated Audacy all-news station.
Mann’s resignation, effective December 10, was announced to the staff Wednesday by Ron Gleason, brand manager and news director of WBBM Newsradio. A search is underway for her successor.
“Julie has been instrumental in our news coverage, interacting minute by minute with our reporters, working closely with our behind-the-scenes team and taking care of a laundry list of needs,” Gleason wrote in an internal email.
“For me personally, I will miss her camaraderie, tremendous work ethic and the incredible amount of help she’s given me over the years. An invaluable resource in so many ways, she’s been a great leader, teacher and counsel to all of us.”
Gleason said Mann had decided to leave for “an opportunity closer to home and away from the demanding, non-stop news business.” Mann did not disclose her new position.
“WBBM Newsradio is in good hands,” Mann said in a statement. “I know the vast experience of our seasoned veterans and the promising accomplishments of our newcomers will continue to keep WBBM a top-rated and reliable source for news.
“I’ve seen and done some incredible things as a reporter and manager thanks to WBBM Newsradio. It’s been an extraordinary career and I was lucky to have it.”
Staffers were quick to praise Mann for her leadership and professionalism.
“When an important newsroom meeting was called, people immediately started saying: ‘It better not be Julie leaving!’” said midday news anchor Cisco Cotto. “She is highly respected because of her years as a reporter and anchor. This is a wonderful opportunity for her, but it’s hard for us because she’s such a great leader.”
Mann, who grew up in west suburban Kane County and graduated from St. Charles High School and Drake University, joined WBBM Newsradio as a reporter and news anchor in 1997. She was named suburban bureau chief in 2002 and worked out of the offices of the Daily Herald. Since 2010 she has been managing editor of WBBM Newsradio.
Earlier she anchored overnight news for Metro Networks on the former WMAQ and worked for WDKB in DeKalb and WFXW in Geneva.
Mann has appeared on every list of the most powerful women in Chicago journalism since 2014.