Marion Brooks to anchor new NBC 5 newscast at noon

Twenty years after WMAQ-Channel 5 got out of the noon news business, it’s about to get back in.

Nothing is official yet, but the NBC-owned station is expected to name Marion Brooks solo anchor of a new newscast to air at noon Monday through Friday, starting soon after Labor Day. Brooks, a 13-year veteran of the station, will continue to anchor the 4:30pm weekday newscast and host The Talk at 7pm weekdays for the NBC Chicago Nonstop digital subchannel, insiders said.

NBC 5 officials declined to comment on their plans.

With news replacing The Real Housewives of New Jersey at noon, the station will be competing for local news viewers with Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. WGN bosses said last week they’re in no rush to name a permanent replacement for Allison Payne, who accepted a buyout as Midday News co-anchor alongside Steve Sanders.

Exactly 20 years ago this week — in August 1991 — NBC 5 announced the cancellation of its long-running noon newscast, which was anchored at the time by Warner Saunders and Joan Esposito. The station was running fourth in the time period with one-third as many viewers as WGN’s noon news.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)