Comes from sister O&O WNBC New York
A former Chicago news anchor is coming home.
Beginning October 12, Stefan Holt is returning to NBC-owned WMAQ-TV in Chicago after a four-year stint at WNBC in New York. Holt will take over the 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. news anchor position. In the early time slot, he’ll pair up with Marion Brooks while at 10 p.m., pair with Allison Rosati, replacing Rob Stafford but continues to anchor with Rosati at 5 and 6 p.m. In addition, Stafford joins the station’s investigative team – he has experience as a consumer reporter for CBS-owned WBBM-TV starting in 1992 before ascending to a similar role with Dateline NBC in 1996. Stafford’s been with WMAQ since 2007.
Patrick Fazio, who anchors the 4 p.m. newscast with Brooks, shifts to 11 a.m.
The 33-year old Holt is the son of Lester Holt, who anchored WBBM-TV’s newscasts from 1986 to 2000, as during the time the younger Holt grew up in the North Side’s Lincoln Park community. Lester Holt of course, now anchors NBC Nightly News which airs locally at 5:30 p.m.
Stefan Holt anchored WMAQ’s early-morning newscasts from 2011 until 2016 before moving over to sister station WNBC to succeed Chuck Scarborough at 11 p.m. in addition to 4 p.m. anchoring duties. Both WNBC and WMAQ are owned by NBCUniversal.
In a statement, Holt said: “I grew up in Chicago. I was born there, and I moved to New York when I was 13. It’s an amazing place. It’s a great city. It certainly has held a very special place in my heart even during our time here in New York. This is a decision my wife and I made that coming back to Chicago was the right move for us as a family, right move for our [two] kids.” His comment certainly runs counter to popular belief these days regarding Chicago.
WMAQ’s newscasts have historically ranked second in the market, behind market leader WLS-TV, including at 10 p.m. in households and in the key 25-54 news demo. Nexstar’s WGN-TV however, has become a bigger factor at 10 in recent months.
Holt’s move comes at a time when the local news media is under increasing scrutiny from Black viewers and others after looting and vandalism tore up much of The Loop, Mag Mile, Gold Coast, and Streeterville neighborhoods on the morning of August 10.
As for Stafford, the reduction of airtime is fine with him. The last few years, Stafford had been battling some health problems due to being exposed from toxins from the Stergenics plant near his home in the western suburbs and was forced to take a six-month leave of absence for treatment. As he sued the company, Stafford recused himself from reporting on any future stories related to the story or the case.