On the day WFLD-Channel 32 confirmed the exclusive here that Corey McPherrin would be switching from evening sports anchor to morning news co-host, the Fox-owned station put out the word that his slot on the 9 p.m. weeknight newscast would be filled — at least for the foreseeable future — by weekend sports anchor Jill Carlson. The Tribune reported it. The Sun-Times reported it. Chicagoland Radio and Media reported it. Even I reported it.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
On Friday, Carlson was notified that she’s on her way out. After almost 12 years of excellent work as a sports anchor and reporter at Channel 32, sources said, her contract won’t be renewed when it expires at the end of August.
It’s the latest example of the Fox publicity machine putting out false or misleading information to the press — and then covering it up or hiding behind semantics. I swear it’s happened so many times in the last few years that I’ve lost count. (Maybe it’s time to change their slogan from “Fair and Balanced” to “Home of the Whopper.“)
Carlson, a native of west suburban Lombard and the pride of Glenbard East High School, graduated from the University of Illinois and worked at Tribune Co.-owned CLTV, among other stations, before joining Channel 32 in 1999. For a while she held the distinction of being the first and only female weekday sports anchor in Chicago during her stint on “Fox News at Noon.”
At this point, it’s anybody’s guess what the Fox Chicago brain trust has in mind for sports on its 9 p.m. newscast, which seems to be reinventing itself on the fly with new main anchor Bob Sirott alongside veteran Robin Robinson. “We are in change mode and we know it won’t always be easy,” Robinson recently wrote on her blog. “We may alter some things only to tweak them a few times or change them back entirely.”
With Carlson’s departure now imminent, she’s telling friends she hopes to land another sports job in the market. She continues to host “Golf Chicago TV” on Comcast SportsNet.
Word of her ouster came just days after weekend news anchor Nancy Pender also learned that her contract was not being renewed and that she was being cut after 13 years as an anchor and reporter at the station. Her last day on the air is expected to be Aug. 10.
Carlson and Pender join an ever-growing list of Channel 32’s exiled anchors and reporters, including Lilia Chacon, Lauren Cohn, Jack Conaty, Jeff Goldblatt, Byron Harlan, Nancy Loo, David Novarro and David Viggiano, along with about two dozen technicians and other off-air employees whose jobs have been eliminated.