ABC 7 extends ‘Windy City Live’ brand to Saturday nights
Ji Suk Yi, Ryan Chiaverini and Val Warner
Robservations on the media beat:
- It’s official: ABC 7 is expanding its top-rated Windy City Live franchise to weekends. Starting September 15, Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini will host a new half-hour edition at 11pm Saturdays, following the station’s late news. Joined by social media producer Ji Suk Yi, they’ll present highlights of past shows — some of which will be selected based on viewer feedback from Facebook and Twitter. "Windy City Live has found success weekday mornings, and we believe that by adding the weekend edition, that success will continue with a whole new audience who will now get the chance to sample the show,” said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7. In July, Windy City Live continued to dominate its 9am weekday time period with a 3.6 rating and 12 share — double its next-closest competitors, Live with Kelly on WGN and the 9am hour of Today on NBC 5, which had identical 1.8 ratings and 6 shares. The local replacement for The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted in May 2011.
- Officials at NBC 5 said Monday they were “very pleased” with ratings for the 2012 London Olympics, noting they were up across the board compared with Nielsen household figures for the 2008 Games in Beijing. Viewership for the opening ceremony was 20 percent higher than four years ago. The increased daytime audience during the Olympics (from July 27 to August 12) also boosted NBC 5’s afternoon and early evening newscasts — in some cases doubling the ratings for the same time periods last year.
- Rob Martier, news anchor and reporter at news/talk WGN-AM (720), is picking up Saturday night/Sunday morning overnight news duties now that radio veteran Christopher Michael has signed off. Michael, whose real name is Gil Peters, had been among the higher-paid freelancers at the Tribune Co.-owned station since he started in 2004. When asked to take an hourly pay cut, he declined and chose to give up the one-night-a-week gig. His peculiar on-air farewell (“While loss does its celebratory dance, as the Bible says, love never dies”) was covered solemnly by Chicagoland Radio and Media.
- Congratulations to ABC 7 weekend news anchor Karen Jordan and NBC 5 reporter Christian Farr on the birth last Friday of their first child, daughter Vivian Rae Farr. Proud first-time grandpa is WGN weekend news anchor Robert Jordan.
- Although they operate in the shadow of their Chicago counterparts, smaller market radio stations are alive and well throughout the western suburbs and Fox Valley area, according to a piece last weekend in the Naperville Sun and Aurora Beacon News. “We pride ourselves on being part of the local community and getting out, reaching more people,” Scott Kosak, general manager of NextMedia Group’s WERV-FM (95.9), told reporters Steve Lord and Mike Danahey. “Everything for us is focused in the western suburbs. That’s what makes The River different.”
- Anthony V. Santucci, a south suburban radio pioneer who ran WCHI, WCGO and WTAS for more than 60 years, died last week at 87. His son, Anthony D. Santucci, recalled such broadcast veterans as Rick Sallinger, Dave Mitchell, Danny Lake, Bernie Tafoya, Dave Lyons and the late Fred Partido getting their first radio jobs with his father.
- Carlos Correa, who began his career as a field producer for Art Norman at NBC 5, has been hired as a general assignment reporter at KERO-TV in Bakersfield, California. The Columbia College graduate most recently was news director and multimedia reporter at KRWG-TV in El Paso, Texas/Las Cruces, New Mexico. “I’m very excited to have this opportunity,” he said. “I love storytelling and I can’t think of a better place.”