Longtime Chicago Tonight host Joel Weisman announced Friday night his retirement from the Week In Review portion of the show after 40 years. As first reported by Robert Feder, Weisman is making way for several rotating moderators on the Friday version of the show. His final program is January 19 with an one-hour special.
The move is the second change announced this week for the longtime WTTW franchise. As Feder also reported earlier this week, Monday-Thursday host Phil Ponce is reducing his duties.
Originally known as The Chicago Week In Review, Weisman provided over a roundtable of panelists to discuss the city’s news and issues every week featuring anchors, newspaper columnists, and commentators. Weisman joined WTTW in 1974 as a political editor and commentator and launched Chicago Week In Review on the PBS station four years later. Once a weekend offering, Review was folded into the weeknight Chicago Tonight program on Friday nights sometime around the mid-2000s.
In addition to his journalism credentials, Weisman is also a lawyer and media agent.
As yours truly noted on this blog when doing early-season ratings roundups in the past, Chicago Tonight: The Week In Review is the best show on Friday night television. A discussion of the week’s events in a half-hour in an informative and non-partisan manner. Weisman and WTTW should be commended for a job well done. As television news discussion programs have become nothing but ridiculous shouting matches, it is always nice to know there’s still a place to get an intelligent comprehension of the week’s events and The Week In Review fitted the bill very nicely.