Jim Williams, the veteran Chicago journalist and weekend news anchor at WBBM-Channel 2, will team with reporter Marie Saavedra on a new 4 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscast about to be launched by the CBS-owned station.
Starting January 24, Williams and Saavedra will co-anchor the one-hour newscast with meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist and sports anchor Marshall Harris.
The moves were announced Thursday by Jennifer Lyons, president and general manager of CBS 2, and Jeff Harris, vice president and news director.
“With breaking news events occurring 24/7 and the appetite for local news from trusted journalists continuing to grow across broadcast, streaming and digital platforms, we are pleased to add a 4 p.m. newscast to our weekday schedule,” Lyons said in a statement. “We look forward to this new opportunity to provide the kind of in-depth reporting that defines CBS 2 Chicago.”
Under Lyons, rollout of the long-awaited 4 p.m. newscast finally brings CBS 2 up to speed with its competitors, while creating a backup team to Brad Edwards and Irika Sargent, who anchor the station’s newscasts at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
A lifelong Chicagoan and graduate of Kenwood High School and Columbia College, Williams joined CBS 2 in 2002 after working as a correspondent for ABC News and a reporter and news writer for former Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 and WGN 720-AM. He also served as press secretary to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley from 1992 to 1997.
In 2018 Williams was inducted in the Silver Circle of the the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Calling Williams “one of Chicago’s most trusted journalists,” Harris said: “His deep understanding of Chicagoans helps him deliver insightful reporting on the communities we serve. As he takes on this new role, Jim will continue bringing to light the impactful stories that capture the spirit of our city.”
Saavedra, who grew up in Evanston and graduated from Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, joined CBS 2 in October 2020 from WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas.
Shortly after her arrival, Saavedra filled in alongside Edwards while Sargent was on maternity leave for three months.
“Marie has proven to be an exceptional storyteller and has done a great job of filling in at the anchor desk whenever we have needed her,” Harris said. “We are excited to have her and Jim expand their roles by anchoring our 4 p.m. newscasts.”
Succeeding Williams as news anchor on Saturday and Sunday nights will be reporter Dana Kozlov.
Kozlov, native of Palatine and graduate of Fremd High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, began her career as an intern and field producer in CNN’s Chicago bureau.
After eights years at WGN she joined CBS 2 in 2003 and was promoted to lead political reporter in 2019.