CBS 2 to restore jumbotron, street-front studio overlooking Daley Plaza

CBS 2 Chicago, 22 West Washington Street

It’s been years since WBBM-Channel 2 dismantled the giant video screen outside its Loop studios overlooking Daley Plaza. But soon it will be back — bigger and better than ever.

Construction is underway on a new jumbotron monitor along the western exterior of the CBS Broadcast Center at 22 West Washington Street.

“If all goes according to plan, we look for the sign to be fully operational by mid to late August,” said Jennifer Lyons, president and general manager of the CBS-owned station. “Our 24/7 local news stream, CBS News Chicago, will be the content on the monitor.”

Jennifer Lyons

Once that project is finished CBS 2 is expected to begin recommissioning its former street-front studio at the corner of Washington and Dearborn.

Considered a crown jewel of the facility when it opened in 2008, the 3,500 square-foot Studio A fell into disrepair. It was shut down in 2017 when the station unveiled a new windowless news set in Studio B.

The company tried to rent out the space, marketing it as suitable for “restaurant/retail users,” but there were no takers.

Now, Lyons said, she’s moving forward with plans to bring the studio back to life. “We have an incredible space and have plans to build a state-of-the-art weather center that showcases our ‘First Alert Weather’ brand,” she said.

Joe Ahern, the former general manager of CBS 2 who overspent on construction of the glitzy broadcast facility, was fired three weeks after the grand opening in fall of 2008. He was cited for such perks as installing a marble shower in the private bathroom of his office suite.

Thursday’s comment of the day: Chuck Canning: The Chicago Tribune has already insulted readers with a deadline that eliminates reporting of prior evening news and sports results. This move may push deadlines to a point where reporting of prior afternoon events are delayed a full day. Is there even room for any more nails in this coffin?

CBS Chicago (2012 photo)