It looks like its back to the beach for Phyllis Schwartz.
The WFLD vice president and news director exited the station Tuesday after nearly a year. She replaced Carol Fowler in the same capacity on January 6. A former WLS-TV and WMAQ-TV executive, Schwartz returned to Chicago from San Diego where she ran her own consulting company and was previously vice president and general manager of KNSD-TV (which like WMAQ, is also owned by NBC.)
In a statement released to TV Spy/Media Bistro, Schwartz had this to say about her departure:
“There is no better place to be a news director than Chicago – I love this city and I love producing the news here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make but I have decided to leave FOX 32 to be with my family in California. My reasons for asking to leave are strictly personal. I have a supportive husband, two wonderful daughters, and a great Mom in Southern California and need to be with them at this time.”
This comes as WFLD is prepping for the Dennis Walsh era – the new general manager from Fox’s Orlando duopoly on January 7 replacing Mike Renda, who is bound for WJBK in Detroit.
The promised revamped at WFLD under Schwartz never really happened as she hired only a handful of personnel and the newscasts’ presentation pretty much stayed the same as it did under Fowler. Despite a slight uptick in ratings in October 2012 (vs. year-ago numbers), WFLD’s newscasts overall remained well behind the competition, notably those of WMAQ, WLS, and WGN-TV’s. During Schwartz’s short tenure, there was very little effort to improve the news operation from her – or her New York bosses.
Assistant news director Chris Myers assumes the title of news director until a replacement is found. Myers is no relation to the Fox Sports broadcaster of the same name. Fox Sports, WJBK, and WFLD are owned by the Fox Group.