You always hate when a news powerhouse pulls the plug on a newscast, but that is exactly what is happening in Chicago.
Our man Robert Feder writes that WLS, Chicago's top-rated television station is dropping its 11 a.m. Monday-through-Friday newscast after more than 20 years this fall to make room on its daytime schedule for the syndicated "Live with Kelly and Michael" and retain the locally produced "Windy City Live."
Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez have been anchoring ABC 7's late-morning newscast since it debuted in September 1992. At the time, they were the first two women to anchor a newscast together in Chicago. Initially a half-hour newscast at 11:30 a.m., it later expanded to a full hour.
The cancellation was prompted by ABC 7's acquisition of "Live with Kelly and Michael," which has been airing at 9 a.m. weekdays on Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9. ABC 7 currently airs "Windy City Live," the local show hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, at 9 a.m. in the time slot previously occupied by "The Oprah Winfrey Show." News and weather cut-ins will be showcased when "Windy City Live" moves to 11 a.m.
In announcing the realignment Thursday, John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, said the station would launch "ABC 7 to Go," a web-only digital newscast at noon, starting September 9. In addition to streaming live on the station's digital platforms, it also will be available on demand throughout the afternoon.
“ABC 7 News is one of our greatest strengths and we’re parlaying that resource to meet the changing needs of our audience with 'ABC 7 to Go,' ” Idler said in a statement. “There’s no question 'Windy City Live' has also become a dynamic part of Chicago – creating a buzz, attracting a loyal following and keeping morning viewers entertained. By incorporating the resources and reach of ABC 7 News, 'Windy City Live' will give viewers another reason to watch.”
ABC 7's new daytime lineup will include: "Live with Kelly and Michael" at 9 a.m.; "The View" at 10 a.m.; "Windy City Live" at 11 a.m.; "The Chew" at noon; "General Hospital" at 1 p.m.; "Inside Edition" at 2 p.m.; "Jeopardy" at 2:30 p.m., and "Katie" at 3 p.m.
Tribune Broadcasting will replace "Live with Kelly and Michael" with a sixth hour of WGN's weekday morning news block from 9 to 10 a.m.