WFLD hires Fowler as news director

Fox-owned WFLD-TV has hired former WBBM-TV news director Carol Fowler to work in the same capacity.

Fowler replaces Andrew Finlayson, who today took a job with News Corp. as director for online content and business for the Fox Television Stations Group.

Fowler was news director at CBS-owned WBBM for six years before being fired last fall in a newsroom shakeup. During her tenure, WBBM’s news ratings failed to improve.

The move comes as both WBBM and WFLD are still not impressing anyone with their news ratings. Despite some gains – including beating rival WGN-TV in the ratings head-to-head with all-day coverage of the Governor’s arrest, WFLD still trails WGN in all news time periods by considerable margains, even at 9 p.m., where WFLD can’t seem to take advantage of its network prime-time lead-ins (something WBBM and WMAQ-TV have been accused of in the past.)

Meanwhile, WBBM’s 10 p.m. newscasts still lags behind those of its rivals, while WFLD’s new 10 p.m. newscast failed to match the numbers of Simpsons repeats, which occupied the time slot last year. Both programs are often beaten in household ratings by repeats of Family Guy on WGN.

Thought: This move is a questionable one as Fowler is liable in a still-pending lawsuit filed by Amy Jacobson, who was caught at the Stebic house in 2007 in videotape shot by WBBM. Fowler couldn’t improve ratings at WBBM, so what makes anyone think she can improve the news ratings at WFLD?

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