It looks like one former Chicago Sports Anchor might be coming back to the Windy City to anchor news across the street.
Robert Feder writes that the first time Jon Kelley came to Chicago, he was a 25-year-old rookie sportscaster at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 who became known more for his handsome face and Armani wardrobe than for his reporting or anchoring skills.
Now, more than two decades later, it looks like he may be returning to host “Good Day Chicago” on WFLD-Channel 32. Nothing’s confirmed, but Kelley’s recent visit to the Fox-owned station has insiders convinced he’s close to a deal.
How his hiring would affect the show’s four current anchors — Anna Davlantes, Corey McPherrin, Dawn Hasbrouck and newcomer Natalie Bomke — is unknown. But considering the rock-bottom ratings they’re getting from 4:30 to 10 a.m. five days a week, there’s certainly nothing to lose by shaking things up.
Kelley, 48, most recently has been morning co-anchor at KNTV-TV, the NBC station in San Francisco. He previously was weekend anchor and correspondent for the syndicated show-biz magazine “Extra” and an anchor for Fox Sports Network.
A star running back for the University of Nebraska in his hometown of Lincoln, Kelley held on-air jobs in Omaha, Sioux City, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri, before Chicago beckoned in 1991 with weekend sports anchor offers from both WMAQ NBC 5 and CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. He accepted the former. When Mark Giangreco jumped to ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 in 1995, Kelley moved up to the top sports job at NBC 5. Over the years, his on-air performance improved, but he never overcame the harsh, early assessment of critics.