Tamron Hall shifts to ABC 7; WGN-TV launches new morning show
As expected, ABC 7 (WLS-TV) acquired the rights to Tamron Hall’s talk show to replace Windy City Live in the 1 p.m. time slot beginning September 6, when it starts its third season.
The move was too easy to predict – ABC 7 and Hall’s show share a corporate parent in The Walt Disney Company, whose Disney Media Distribution syndicates her show. Hall was originally sold to ABC 7 in 2018 as part of an overall ABC-owned stations deal, including WABC New York, KABC Los Angeles, and WPVI Philadelphia. But with Windy continuing to do well in ABC 7’s daytime lineup, there was no room for her so Disney re-sold the show to CW 26 (WCIU) where it was originally slotted at 4 p.m. and at 8 p.m. on The U (available over-the-air on 26.2 and 48.1.) But in April 2020, the CW 26 airing was shifted to 10 a.m. as The People’s Court reclaimed the 4 p.m. afternoon slot it held for years.
“My love for Chicago is deep and real. It’s a second home for me and as we know there is no place like Sweet Home Chicago. Moving to the iconic ABC 7 is like winning life’s lottery. I look forward to joining forces with everyone there,” said Hall in a statement. “I want to thank everyone at WCIU as their support over the past two years has been immeasurable in our success.” Hall worked at Fox-owned WFLD between 1997 and 2007 and co-anchored Fox Thing In The Morning With Bob Sirott before moving to MSNBC and The Today Show.
Even though Windy was the most-watched show in its time period, you have to wonder if ABC 7’s corporate bosses at Disney pressured the station to schedule Hall’s show as it was clear it wasn’t doing well on WCIU. As for Windy, the show is being reformatted into a weekly lifestyle show to air Friday mornings at 11:30.
With the departure of Hall – and The CW returning an hour in daytime for affiliates to program, there is now two hours to fill in CW 26’s lineup and one in prime time on The U. No word yet on what those replacements would be.
Meanwhile, WGN-TV announced Monday a new show called Daytime Chicago, hosted by the station’s Tonya Francisco and Amy Rutledge. This is a third return to the Nexstar station to Rutledge as she left WGN a few years ago to join WCIU’s The Jam, which was canceled earlier this year and briefly left to help launch a newscast in Shanghai, China. Daytime Chicago plans to feature the usual topics of a lifestyle show including travel, cooking, health, and others.
Like Windy City Live and other local shows around the country, Daytime Chicago plans to rely on paid sponsored product placement – an issue Last Week Tonight With John Oliver covered recently.
Daytime Chicago is being slotted at 10 a.m. starting in September, giving WGN local programming from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday and 81 hours a week, consisting nearly half of their entire schedule. Current 10 a.m. occupant Rachael Ray is shifting to 1 p.m. to go head-to-head with Hall and replaces an hour of a two-hour Maury block, whose run ends next season as the host is retiring.