Poor Don Schwenneker. Ever since he arrived from Pittsburgh in 2008, WBBM-Channel 2 hasn’t figured out what in the world to do with the guy.
For the first nine months Schwenneker was here, the CBS-owned station had him doing the weather. Then he suddenly became a news anchor, co-hosting “CBS 2 Morning News” alongside Roseanne Tellez. Since February, he’s been back on weather duty.
But starting Monday, Schwenneker will be recast as Channel 2’s early morning traffic reporter. Yes, traffic.
The reassignment coincides with the launch of Channel 2’s new morning show — its third one this year — replacing the ill-fated and poorly received “Monsters and Money in the Morning,” which ends its seven-month run on Friday. From 4:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays, Susan Carlson will co-anchor the new show with Steve Bartelstein, a newcomer from WCBS-TV in New York. Another import from WCBS, Megan Glaros, will handle weather on the show and perhaps contribute some entertainment reports.
Good soldier that he is (or perhaps just grateful to still have a job), Schwenneker seems to be making the best of the situation. “My nickname for a long time has been “bigweather,’ ” he wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday. “Since I’m now the traffic boy, I think I need a nickname for that. So far there’s “Donny Detour.”
Fans were quick to chime in with such suggestions as “Donny Roadblock,” “Donnie Delay,” “Don CONEleone,” “Traffic Sultan Schwenneker,” “Drivin’ Don,” “Big Traffic,” “Donnie Does Traffic,” “Dan Ryan Don,” “Traffic Jam,” “Downtown Don” and “Drivetime Donny Schwenneker,” among others.
On his bio in Pittsburgh, where he spent eight years as a popular and respected meteorologist, Schwenneker once recalled that his most embarrassing moment was “going on the air with his zipper down.” After what he’s been put through at Channel 2, he might want to revise that.