Life after Oprah at her Chicago television flagship took a giant step forward Friday with the hiring of two seasoned producers to create and oversee a new live, local morning show to originate from the studios of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.
Named executive producer was Marlaine Selip, former executive producer of NBC’s “In the Loop with iVillage.” The short-lived show was produced at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 until March 2008. Named supervising producer was Cindy Patrasso, former supervising producer of “In the Loop with iVillage” and former creative marketing director of “Donahue,” the landmark talk show hosted by Phil Donahue and syndicated by Multimedia Entertainment.
In announcing the hires, Emily Barr, president and general manager of Channel 7, cited their “deep Chicago roots and extensive experience in live, daytime television,” adding:
“They are creative, energetic and innovative. Combine this with strong leadership skills and good old fashioned Midwestern values and this puts us in a terrific position to produce a compelling and uniquely Chicago-centric show.”
As first reported here last July, Channel 7 plans to launch a one-hour talk show, tentatively titled “Morning Rush” and featuring multiple hosts and a studio audience, to air at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday after “The Oprah Winfrey Show” signs off next year.
Selip also worked as supervising producer of “The Montel Williams Show,” executive producer of MSNBC’s “Donahue,” and senior news producer for NBC Enterprises’ “The John Walsh Show.” Patrasso, a 35-year veteran of Chicago television, has been operating her own independent production company since 2002. She previously was president of Chicago-based Orbis Broadcast Group, and vice president and executive producer of both Intersport Television and Dillon Smith Communications. Earlier in her career, she was promotion manager at WGN-Channel 9, and promotion coordinator at WFLD-Channel 32.
More than 85 candidates applied for the executive producer position since the opening was posted last July.