Fox shocker: Davlantes & McPherrin to host mornings?

July 14, 2010

Anna Davlantes and Corey McPherrin

Now that Bob Sirott has signed on as the star anchor of WFLD-Channel 32's soon-to-be-revamped 9 p.m. newscast, bosses of the Fox-owned station are turning their attention to remaking their morning show.

And if general manager Mike Renda and news director Carol Fowler have their way, sources said, the new hosts of "Good Day Chicago" are already onboard as two of the station's most high-profile and likeable personalities.

No one's supposed to know it yet, but Renda and Fowler have approached Anna Davlantes and Corey McPherrin about fronting Channel 32's morning show from 7 to 10 a.m. weekdays. If the two agree to the new assignments, according to insiders, they could be on together within the next few months.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Davlantes joined Channel 32 as a contributing anchor and reporter on the 9 p.m. newscast last November after nine years as a reporter and weekend news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. McPherrin joined Channel 32 as top sports anchor in 1995 after four years at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. Both are Chicago natives.

Insiders cautioned that the move of Davlantes and McPherrin to mornings is far from a done deal. But if Renda and Fowler can pull it off, they might finally breathe some life into a show that hasn't been worth watching since Sirott's last go-round at the station as host of "Fox Thing in the Morning" with Marianne Murciano back in the '90s.

It's not clear who would anchor the first two hours of "Good Day Chicago" -- from 5 to 7 a.m. -- or what would happen to the show's current anchors, Jan Jeffcoat and David Novarro. But the station would seem to have little to lose in dumping them and shaking up the morning show, which generally languishes in fourth place in the ratings. It's also not known who would replace McPherrin as Channel 32's main sports anchor at 9 p.m.

Shifting McPherrin to news after nearly 20 years as a sportscaster in the market would be a bold move -- but not without precedent: Among others who attempted to make the same transition with varying degrees of success were Warner Saunders, Mike Barz and the late Tim Weigel.

Some also may see the move as a detour for Davlantes, who presumably was hired as the eventual successor to Robin Robinson on the marquee 9 p.m. newscast. Under the latest scenario, Robinson would co-anchor with Sirott, remaining on the newscast she's fronted with various partners since the station launched its news operation in 1987.