Chicago’s loss is New York’s gain: Weather shifts Freeze to WABC-TV
Vindication doesn’t get much sweeter than getting hired by the No. 1 station in the No. 1 market. That’s just where Amy Freeze is headed after being inexplicably dumped six weeks ago by Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.
WABC-TV in New York is expected to announce that Freeze will join the top-rated ABC-owned station as weekend meteorologist. If all goes as planned, sources said, she could be working there by Monday.
Freeze, 36, signed off Feb. 20 after four years as chief meteorologist at Fox Chicago. For reasons that remain a mystery, her contract was not renewed despite her professionalism on the air, extensive involvement with charity events and community activities, and apparent popularity among viewers. To make matters worse, she was replaced by Bill Bellis, an import from KNXV-TV in Phoenix, who’s about as bland and unremarkable as they come.
At WABC, Freeze will be reunited with another Fox Chicago alum, David Novarro, who rejoined the New York station last December after 10 years as a news anchor here.
Freeze’s new position opened up after WABC weekend weather anchor Heidi Jones was arrested in December for lying to police about an alleged sexual attack in Central Park. Jones, who often filled in on ABC’s Good Morning America, reportedly told authorities she made up the story because she was stressed out and wanted attention. Charges against her are pending.
Although she declined repeated requests for an interview after signing off from Fox Chicago, Freeze posted this message on her Facebook page: “It is very disappointing news for me and my family. Thank you for the kind words and support.” A few weeks later, she told the west suburban Wednesday Journal: “I am disappointed and it was unexpected that Fox would release me from my contract, but I have also been pleasantly surprised with the opportunities out there and how people have been reaching out to me.”
Apparently hoping to remain in Chicago (and not have to move with her husband and their four children), Freeze had remained visible in the market, particularly through social media. For three days in February she filled in as morning co-host on CBS Radio adult contemporary WCFS-FM (105.9). Although that gig led to a full-time radio offer, sources said, it didn’t pay enough to keep her here without a television job to go along with it.
And yes, Freeze truly is her name — and the reason she became a forecaster. “I was working as a news writer at a Portland, Oregon, TV station and the main meteorologist was going to be out for a stretch,” she once told Time Out Chicago. “So they said, ‘Who can we get to do the weather?’ And they thought my name just sounded right. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.”