34-year station vet steps in for Magers, who officially calls it a career
ABC-owned WLS-TV (ABC 7) announced Thursday the successor to Ron Magers’ seat at 10 p.m.: Alan Krashesky. The longtime anchor will sit beside Kathy Brock at 10 p.m. Krashesky currently anchors the 4 p.m. newscast with Linda Yu, (who is cutting back on her anchor duties) and the 6 p.m. newscast with Brock.
Magers, 71, started planning his retirement a few months ago. Magers has been at ABC 7 since 1998, after he left NBC-owned WMAQ-TV during the Jerry Springer commentary debacle. Magers started his ABC 7 gig at 5 p.m.; he succeeded the late John Drury at 10 p.m. in 2002.
The final Magers newscast takes place on May 25, the final night of the May sweeps. Krashesky steps in the following day.
ABC 7 GM John Idler said in a statement: “No hyperbole is necessary to describe Ron Magers. He is simply the best. We thank Ron for his unrelenting pursuit of excellence and for all he has meant to ABC 7 and our Chicago viewers. We will miss him.” News director Jennifer Graves also chimed in: “For decades Ron Magers has been the trusted voice of authority for Chicago news viewers. His intellect, ability to put complicated stories into context and effortless broadcast style have put him in a league of his own. We thank him for always trying to make us better and wish him nothing but the best.”
Magers is a seven-time Chicago Emmy Winner. His recognitions include a National Press Club citation and a Peter Lisagor Award and an Ethics Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Arriving at WMAQ in 1981 after a seven-year run (and a highly publicized fallout) at KSTP in Minneapolis, Magers was paired with Marin at WMAQ for their 10 p.m. newscasts beginning in the late 1980’s and finished behind WLS-TV most of the time. In 1997, both resigned after management decided to bring in trash-talk host Jerry Springer to do commentaries at 10 p.m., which lasted all of two nights (Marin has since returned to WMAQ in an investigate reporter role.) Months later, Magers surfaced at ABC 7, and achieved something he wasn’t able to do at WMAQ: dominate the ratings.
Krashesky has been with ABC 7 since 1982, when the top-rated station was mired in third place in the local news ratings. Krashesky had many notable assignments in his career with the station, namely his coverage of issues regarding the city’s Catholic community and his travels to Rome to report on matters involving the Pope. He also hosted News Views segments during the station’s Sunday morning newscasts.
The change comes at a time as WMAQ is closing in on WLS in the adult 25-54 demo at 10 p.m. ABC 7 has dominated the local news ratings since 1986.