Will WBBM Shift Downtown Digs?


WBBM Chicago is considering moving its street-level news studio up a floor, reports Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune. The CBS O&O started moving into the new Daley Plaza digs in June; then president/GM Joe Ahern described the location to me as being “on Main and Main–overlooking the Picasso sculpture, across from City Hall, like Radio City in New York,” where some 50-60,000 people walk by every day.

Writes Rosenthal:

Previous WBBM management believed the investment in such valuable real estate would enable Channel 2 to distinguish itself by replicating similar storefront setups at WLS-Ch. 7 and WMAQ-Ch. 5. The hope was the shine and gloss of the new headquarters would translate into better ratings for the station, long stranded in the doldrums.

But Channel 2’s actual newsroom in the new building, directly above the studio, not only has a better view of the plaza, but has the look of, well, an authentic TV newsroom.

Newish WBBM prez Bruno Cohen says he’s considering the northerly shift.

“It’s one of a number of interesting ideas that we’re looking at for developing our newscast and we’re going to look at it seriously,” Cohen told Rosenthal.