WCIU to “Jam” up your mornings

From left to right: Jordan Cornette, Danielle Robay, Felicia Lawrence


Replacement for You & Me finally announced

At first glance, when you look in your TV listings and see something called The Jam, your first thought would be some kind of dance-music show.

But in all actuality, it is the name of WCIU’s new 6-to-8 a.m. morning show, debuting in a few weeks. As described on WCIU’s website, The Jam is “a combination of local and national news, unique weather, and an explosion of pop culture. It’s a showcase of everyday Chicagoans who make the city great.” The program features local and national headlines, weather, and features on people in the city.

No debut date has been announced, but it should be later this summer. The announcement coincides with a recent revamp of the station’s on-air look, graphics, internet, and social media presence. The new show seems to go for a younger audience than You & Me did, which was canceled after seven years last spring and features hosts Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow.

Steve Bailey, who is head of local programming and creative for the Weigel-owned independent said: “The Jam will wake you up, feed you the news of the day and drop an explosion of pop culture in your coffee. We’re going to move you and shake up your day in ways no one else is doing in Chicago.”

The cast features three new fresh faces to Chicago TV:

Jordan Cornette, who currently serves as co-host of WMVP-AM’s (ESPN 1000’s) Kap & Co. with David Kaplan, and is a college basketball commentator for CBS Sports and Fox Sports 1. Cornette is continuing in his ESPN 1000 role.

Felicia Lawrence, a South Side native who interned at WCIU and later served as an anchor and reporter for Fox-owned WJZY in Charlotte, which the network bought in 2013. She is a graduate of Morgan Park High School and earned a degree in communications at North Carolina A&T University.

Danielle Robay, another Chicago native who spent several years in Los Angeles as an entertainment reporter, working for KNBC and was a host and producer on CBS Television Distribution’s online version of Entertainment Tonight. She also appeared on HLN’s Dr. Drew and ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Former Windy City Live executive producer David Plummer is the showrunner for The Jam.

When it debuts later this summer, WCIU’s The Jam will compete with the last hour of the local morning news shows on the ABC, CBS, and NBC O&Os and first hour of the network morning news shows – not to mention WGN’s popular morning news show and WFLD’s Good Day Chicago as You & Me never resonated in the ratings, despite a loyal following. Still, the concept of The Jam looks promising and provides a fresh alternative to other morning fare.

The move comes as WCIU owner Weigel Broadcasting is set to become Chicago’s last locally-owned broadcaster in the nation’s third-largest media market with Hunt Valley Md.’s Sinclair Broadcasting set to purchase Chicago-based Tribune Media, owners of WGN-TV and WGN-AM.

[Official press release]



3 thoughts on “WCIU to “Jam” up your mornings

    • Hello, Chicago author & comedian here. Would love to be a guest on your show sometime. I wrote 2 humorous books, ‘Still Single’ & ‘Still Dating.’ My drama book is, ‘ My Husband the Stranger.’ I sing, tell jokes & do celebrity impressions in my show. You can see some of my comedy youtube videos on my website: http://www.stillsingle.org. Best, Debbie Sue Goodman

      • Young…spirited….vey refreshing…….the jean sparrow team, so long awaited needed to be replaced, actually, should have been removed years ago…..very slow..goofy

    • If your show is going to touch on serious subjects–like the recent California case where the parents shackled & starved their 13 children–please learn to stifle giggles & grins when doing so.

      Re Danielle Robey: I’ve never seen anyone maintain such an enormous & constant smile–even while she’s talking!
      She should stick to the Access Hollywood / Entertainment Tonight / Extra genre. She’s bubbly & cute, but she’s no Barbara Walters.

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