It’s no surprise WGN-Channel 9 waited until Dan Roan retired to announce his successor as sports anchor. But in an unexpected twist, the Nexstar Media station appears to be hedging its bet on who’ll get top billing.
Chris Boden, the veteran Chicago sportscaster who’s been filling in at WGN since last August, and Kaitlin Sharkey, the former sports anchor and Chicago Bears reporter at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, were named full-time sports anchor/reporters Tuesday.
Boden’s promotion is effective immediately, while Sharkey joins the station Monday.
The announcement by WGN news director Dominick Stasi did not delineate specific duties for Boden and Sharkey, suggesting the two may alternate in Roan’s old role for the time being. If the plan is for one or the other eventually to emerge as top sports anchor, no one who knows is saying.
The move fills two vacancies on WGN’s sports staff. In addition to Roan, who retired last week after 38 years at the station, an earlier opening was created when Lauren Magiera was not renewed after six years as sports anchor/reporter in April.
“We are excited to welcome Kaitlin Sharkey to the sports team and to have Chris join us officially,” Stasi said in a brief statement. “Both will be great assets as part of Chicago’s Very Own.”
Boden, 59, who grew up in south suburban Burbank and graduated from Luther South High School and Columbia College, has been a solid performer on Chicago TV and radio for nearly four decades, including a long run on the former Comcast SportsNet Chicago (forerunner of NBC Sports Chicago).
Sharkey, 31, a Milwaukee native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, joined Fox 32 in 2020 from WITI, the Fox affiliate in Milwaukee. Earlier she worked for WBAY, the ABC affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and WSAW, the CBS affiliate in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Since she voluntarily stepped down from Fox 32 in April, Sharkey has been filling in as a guest host on Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670-AM.
Also at WGN, Pat Tomasulo continues as sports anchor on “WGN Morning News,” and Jarrett Payton and Josh Frydman continue as sports anchor/reporters and co-hosts of the nightly “GN Sports.”
Stasi said Payton and Frydman will share responsibilities with Boden and Sharkey as part of WGN’s afternoon and evening sports team.
Friday’s comment of the day: Dan Miller: Glad to see a professional of Justin Laurence’s skill and work history joining Crain’s and partnering with Greg Hinz on political reporting and analysis.