Sidelined sportscaster pinch hitting for Channel 9

Sidelined sportscaster pinch hitting for Channel 9

Howard Sudberry

Howard Sudberry, whose 25-year run as a sportscaster at WBBM-Channel 2 ended in a round of layoffs at the CBS-owned station last year, made a comeback of sorts last weekend.

Sudberry, 54, turned up as a fill-in sports anchor Saturday — the first night of the Stanley Cup finals — on Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9. Confirming the free-lance gig Tuesday, Channel 9 news director Greg Caputo noted that as news boss at Channel 2, he’d first brought Sudberry to Chicago from WEWS-TV in Cleveland in 1984.

A native of Pekin, Ill., who began his career as a weatherman and sports reporter at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Sudberry most recently has been running Sudberry Media Group, an independent production company, with his videographer son, Justin.

Fired from Channel 2 on the same day as Sudberry in April 2009 were general assignment reporter Joanie Lum, entertainment reporter Bill Zwecker and assistant news director Todd Woolman. All three — Lum, Zwecker and Woolman — have since been picked up by Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

Meanwhile, as both Channel 9 and Channel 32 continue to struggle for ratings, Caputo also welcomed former Channel 32 news anchor Nancy Loo, confirming a tip here Thursday. Loo’s contract was not renewed last March after nine years at the Fox station.

As of this week, Loo will be working as a reporter and fill-in anchor on Channel 9’s morning newscasts. In a statement announcing Loo’s hiring, Caputo said:

“Nancy is an Emmy Award winning reporter. She’s covered news around the world, working as a reporter and anchor in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York City, and Chicago. In addition to her TV credits, Nancy has become adept at communicating on the Internet and in the use of social media.‚ She hosts her own blog on Tribune’s ChicagoNow blog site. And if you’re a Facebook friend or a Twitter follower, you already know her skill in using these new media. We’re thrilled to have her join our team.”

In a blog after her first day at work, Loo declared her new workplace “super cool,” noting the presence of windows and free parking at WGN — two perks she never had at Fox.