ABC 7 cancels ‘Windy City Live’ after 10 years of ‘great television’

Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini

Ten years after the replacement of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on the WLS-Channel 7 lineup during the day, “Windy City Live” will be mesmerizing.

The locally produced talk and entertainment show will cease production on Sept. 3 with its final airing as a series Monday through Friday, according to John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7.

“As we continue to explore the challenging times of our industry, we have to make difficult business decisions to get rid of the daily airing of‘ Windy City Live, ’” Idler wrote in an email to staff on Wednesday.

Direct Windy City

“I would like to thank the outstanding producers and production crew of WCL for their tireless commitment to making a great decade of television. The storytelling and outreach of the impactful WCL community exceeded all our expectations when we launched the show in 2011, ”wrote Idler.

Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, co-hosts of the show from the beginning, are expected to continue ABC 7, but about 10 full-time jobs and a number of unknown freelance positions will be eliminated, sources said. There has been no news yet on what will air as a replacement for “Windy City Live” at 1 p.m. on weekdays.

Idler said Warner and Chiaverini will host a temporary titled “Windy City Weekend,” a half -hour preview of the weekend’s events and activities, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, beginning Sept. 10. They are also expected to host a quarterly special, possibly attaching the “Windy City” branding to what is now titled “190 North.”

After months of auditions involving hundreds of candidates, ABC 7 hired a “WGN Morning News” traffic reporter and reporter and teamed up with Chiaverini, the station’s weekend sports anchor, to replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at 9 p.m. weekend . “Windy City Live” premiered to quite favorable reviews on May 26, 2011.

The show then runs at 11 a.m. and then until 1 p.m. Except during the outbreak, the show was made in front of a studio audience at ABC 7 headquarters at 190 North State Street.

John Idler

While never reaching the stratospheric popularity of daytime juggernaut Winfrey, “Windy City Live” is believed to be profitable throughout its journey. That’s partly because the show generates additional revenue through sponsored content.

Nielsen’s show “Windy City Live” won its run in household ratings and tied for first place among women between 25 and 54 in May.

In a difficult year for local television production, recent cancellations include “Chicago’s Best” on Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-Channel 9 and “The Hour” on Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-Channel 26.2 / WMEU-Channel 48.1.

The following is the full text of Idler’s email to staff:

Dear team,

As we continue to traverse challenging industry times, we have to make a difficult business decision to end the daily airing of Windy City LIVE (WCL). Many factors were considered, but in the end this was the best result for ABC 7. The final MF show will air on Friday, September 3rd.

WCL will remain a part of our station and community, and Val and Ryan will continue to be part of our team. They will be featured in a variety of station roles and initiatives, including the Friday edition of Windy City LIVE, temporarily titled Windy City Weekends. This half -hour program will air from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will be an follow -up show at an upcoming event to help our viewers enjoy their weekend. In addition, we can look forward to quarterly WCL special offers that will celebrate the big city and our neighboring communities.

I would like to thank the incredible producers and production crew of WCL for their tireless commitment to making a decade of great television. The storytelling and outreach of the WCL community exceeded our expectations when we launched the show in 2011. We thank Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini for the talent, creativity, and enjoyment they bring to Chicago audiences every weekday, and we look forward to the next chapter of the program winner of this award.

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more plans with you all.

Thank you all for your continued dedication.


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