After 27 years in Chicago television as a top investigative journalist, Larry Yellen is about to add news anchor to his resume.
Nothing is official yet, but WFLD-Channel 32 is close to finalizing a deal to name Yellen solo anchor of its Saturday and Sunday 9 p.m. newscasts. He's been filling in as anchor of the two newscasts since the recent departures of Byron Harlan and Nancy Pender, whose contracts were not renewed.
If all goes as planned, insiders said, the weekend newscasts would feature Yellen interviewing in-studio guests, mirroring the format of the Fox-owned station's Monday-through-Friday 9 p.m. newscast, anchored by Bob Sirott and Robin Robinson.
Yellen, 58, has been an award-winning investigative reporter and legal analyst at Channel 32 since 1994. He previously spent more than 10 years as a producer at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 and three years with the Better Government Association in Washington, D.C. He played a key role in Fox Chicago's coverage of the trial of Rod Blagojevich and other high-profile legal proceedings.
The promotion to news anchor represents a significant career advancement for Yellen, who told friends he views it as a way to acquire a new set of skills and increase his versatility. The downside for the station is that it will reduce his duties as an investigative reporter to three days a week.
A native of north suburban Waukegan, Yellen is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University Law School.