Chicago Blowtorch Could be Flaming Out


When it came to news ratings in Chicago, it was WLS and then everyone else. 

But the Chicago blowtorch might be starting to flame out. 

Robert feder reports that the ABC O&O's dominance of Chicago viewership from dawn to high noon may be slipping away.

“ABC 7 News This Morning” has fallen out of first place from 5 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday in overall audience and, more significantly, among adults between 25 and 54. In addition, the move earlier this month of “Windy City Live” to 11 a.m. in order to make room for “Live with Kelly and Michael” at 9 a.m. has cost the station viewership in both time periods.

Though still the market’s revenue leader, ABC 7 no longer commands the top spot it once took for granted in all local time periods. The daytime juggernaut fueled for a quarter-century by “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is a memory.

Nor is the formerly bulletproof station immune from the harsh realities of the industry, as it once was. Last month six ABC 7 staffers were laid off as part of companywide cutbacks ordered by Disney/ABC Television Group. (Among them was managing editor Andy Porte, a legendary figure in the newsroom, who began his career 52 years ago at Chicago’s City News Bureau. “This business we’ve chosen doesn’t really seem to have room for dinosaurs or anachronisms like me,” Porte told his colleagues.)

More on the story from Robert Feder