It’s been years since CBS-owned WBBM dismantled the giant video screen outside its Loop studios overlooking Daley Plaza. But soon it will be back — bigger and better than ever. “If all goes according to plan, we look for the sign to be fully operational by mid to late August,” said GM Jennifer Lyons. “Our 24/7 local news stream, CBS News Chicago, will be the content on the monitor.”
The veteran Chicago broadcaster most recently led the creation and launch of NewsNation, Nexstar Media Group’s Chicago-based national cable news channel.
CBS has ousted the leaders of its O&O stations in Los Angeles and Chicago after concluding a six-month investigation into misconduct claims at the CBS Television Stations group. Jay Howell is out as general manager of KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV Los Angeles, as is Derek Dalton at WBBM-TV Chicago. The terminations were disclosed in memos Thursday about the conclusion of the investigation sparked by a Los Angeles Times expose on hostile working conditions for women and people of color at a number of CBS O&Os.
While all news media are practicing social distancing and adapting to working outside the office, WBBM Chicago went a step further Tuesday. The CBS-owned station originated its entire 5 p.m. newscast away from its Loop newsroom, studio and control room.
Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM in Chicago, the increasingly popular soft-rock oldies station at WRME 87.7 FM, has teamed up with CBS-owned WBBM on news and weather updates.
As expected, the ongoing impasse between CBS and AT&T is wreaking havoc on WBBM’s already low ratings. The blackout of CBS 2 on DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse cable systems appears to have cost the CBS-owned station more than a quarter of its viewership.
When you’re last in the ratings and still declining, someone has to take the fall for it. That looks like the case at CBS-owned WBBM Chicago, where David Parrish is out as executive producer of the 10 p.m. newscast. The move signals more changes under Jeff Harris, who’s been vice president and news director of CBS 2 since July.
CBS picks the former GM of WHEC Rochester, N.Y., to succeed the retired Marty Wilke as head of its Chicago O&O.
She has led the CBS O&O in Chicago since October 2012. Her last day will be March 23 and a successor has not yet been named.