Announcement made on the same day he joined the station in 1982
[Editor’s Note: Swapped YouTube video with the Christmas Night edition of WLS-TV’s newscast.]
If anything, the year 2022 is shaping up to be The Great Retirement in local media.
The latest person to call it a career is Alan Krashesky, who announced his decision to retire from ABC 7 – 40 years to the day he arrived at the station on October 4, 1982. His final day is November 22, days before the sweeps period ends. Krashesky currently co-anchors the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts.
“This job is the fulfillment of the dream I had when I first walked in the door at WLS-TV 40 years ago at the age of 21,” Krashesky said. “Over the past four decades, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked alongside some of the best broadcast journalists in the business – and I’m honored that the people of the Chicago area chose to trust us and welcome us into their homes.”
“Alan Krashesky’s career is a template for any aspiring journalist,” said ABC 7 president and general manager John Idler. “His professionalism, skill as an anchor and fairness as a reporter has earned not only countless awards but the respect of our viewers and his ABC 7 colleagues. We thank him for a remarkable career and wish him nothing but the best. He will be missed by all.”
Krashesky got his start as a news anchor in Ithaca, N.Y., where he graduated from Ithaca College. He moved on to jobs working for WBNG-TV in Binghamton, N. Y. and then-CBS affiliate KTBC in Austin, Tex.
When Krashesky arrived as a general assignment reporter at WLS-TV, the ABC-owned station regularly finished in last place among Chicago’s news operations, then dominated by CBS-owned WBBM-TV. By 1985 however, WLS’ ratings improved greatly thanks to the success of Oprah Winfrey and powerhouse syndicated programs Jeopardy! and Wheel Of Fortune – not to mention the ratings collapse at WBBM due to several factors, including weaker afternoon lead-in programming and a Operation PUSH boycott over the demotion of anchor Harry Porterfield. WLS has been the market’s overall news leader since 1986.
Krashesky also did fill-in work as a weatherman, such as this newscast with Jim Gibbons and Mary Ann Childers from December 25, 1983 with the big news story of the day of course, the record Christmas cold:
In 1989, Krashesky was named co-anchor of the new Eyewitness News This Morning at 6:30 a.m. and was paired with newcomer Kathy Brock a year later, where it regularly won its time period. He later anchored the station’s early afternoon newscasts and replaced the retiring Ron Magers at 10 p.m. in 2016.
In addition to his anchor work, Krashesky was also known to viewers for covering issues regarding Chicago’s Catholic community, including traveling to Rome to report on the installation of three Popes. Krashesky has also won several Chicago Emmy Awards and a Peter Lisagor Award.
Krashesky is the latest Chicago media figure to either step way or retire in the past year. Others include WXRT’s Richard Milne and Lin Brehmer; WDRV’s Bob Stroud; WGN-TV sports anchor Dan Roan; Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play man Pat Foley; and media journalist Robert Feder.
Editor’s Note: An earlier draft contained several mistakes that are now corrected. T Dog Media apologies for the errors.