Jerry Taft reduces schedule, to do weather at 6 and 7 p.m.
ABC-owned WLS-TV announced Wednesday it has promoted meteorologist Cheryl Scott to the 10 p.m. newscast, effective August 1.
She replaces longtime veteran Jerry Taft, who in turn takes over for Scott on the 7 p.m. newscast (over WCIU) and retains his position at 6 p.m. Scott already does the weather for ABC 7’s early fringe newscasts, at 4 and 5 p.m.
The move of Scott to 10 p.m. was expected for some time. Scott arrived at ABC 7 in 2014, after a stint as a weekend meteorologist at rival WMAQ-TV (NBC 5). Beforehand, she was a meteorologist at Gannett (now TEGNA)-owned WBIR-TV in Knoxville, an NBC affiliate.
The 73 year-old Taft recently signed an one-year extension to stay with ABC 7, but no doubt the retirement plans are in place. Despite reports to the contrary, Taft said he’s happy with the move, meaning no more late-nights for him and he can get home earlier.
Despite objections by a few haters, reaction to Scott’s promotion were generally positive, with many giving congratulations and appreciation. Among them was fellow ABC 7 meteorologist Tracy Butler, who handled the early-morning and midday newscasts.
Congrats to you!!! :) @CherylScottWX I bet we will run into one another more when you're leaving & I'm coming in!
— Tracy Butler (@TracyButlerABC7) July 21, 2016
Currently, ABC 7 is leading the 10 p.m. newscasts in households, but behind NBC 5 in the all-important 25-54 demo. Whether Scott would help close the gap in the demo remains to be seen – the upcoming Rio Summer Olympics is expected to give NBC and its affiliates a boost. WGN has also added a 10 p.m news show recently, with Tom Skilling’s weather forecast appearing in the first ten minutes.
As for the haters, given what’s going on in our world these days – particularly as murders and shootings pile up in Chicago and continued political buffoonery downstate, the point is to be outraged at what’s going on in the news, not at the person giving the weather report. Talk about misplaced priorities.