When WFLD-Channel 32 announced the hiring of Dawn Hasbrouck as noon news anchor, the Fox-owned station went out of its way to tell the world that Nancy Loo, the woman who'd be losing her anchor seat, would be kept on as a general assignment reporter. They said it to me. They said it to Phil Rosenthal. They even said it in a press release posted on their own website.
Barely three weeks after Hasbrouck signed on, Channel 32 has told Loo that her days as a reporter at the station are numbered. Insiders say that her contract won't be renewed when it expires next month. She could be gone even sooner.
I can't say that it comes as a surprise, since I did write at the time of her demotion: "Considering how [Loo's] role was diminished earlier by former news director Andrew Finlayson and now by news director Carol Fowler, the handwriting may be on the wall." But rarely have I seen such duplicity by a television station in its public statements.
When she first joined Channel 32 in 2001 from WABC-TV in New York, Loo was considered a rising star and likely successor to Tamron Hall as the station's top morning news anchor. But somewhere along the way, she fell out of favor and was passed over in favor of Jan Jeffcoat, an outsider from KRIV-TV in Houston, who replaced Hall in 2007.
In her only public comment after losing her anchor gig, Loo wrote:
"It's been a bad week. ‚ . . . There's really not much I can say about that at this point. . . . I'll never be able to respond to the hundreds of messages and emails I've received. . . .‚ Wow! ‚ Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
What's next for Loo? She recently joined the parade of bloggers on Chicago Now, after years of blogging on her own and spreading the gospel of social media. On Wednesday, she'll reunite with former Channel 32 sports anchor Bruce Wolf in filling in for morning hosts Don and Roma Wade on Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890).
Robservations on the media beat: