WGN may give morning news crew another hour to play

Another hour of Larry and Robin?  Just think of all the fun.

Fans of WGN Morning News anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten and the rest of the madcap morning gang may get to enjoy them for an hour longer — from 9 to 10am Monday through Friday.

Nothing is official, but insiders say that’s the most likely scenario this fall when the syndicated Live with Kelly & Michael leaves the Tribune Broadcasting station. In one form or another, the show has been airing in the 9am slot on WGN for more than a decade.

The addition of another hour of news would expand what already is the busiest television news operation in town, with weekday news blocks airing from 4 to 10am, 11am to 1pm, 5 to 6pm, and 9 to 10pm. That would make it a full 10 hours a day.

It also would give the creative team at WGN Morning News more time to showcase their skill at mining comedic gold out of the mundane. In the past week alone, three moments on the show became video sensations: Baumgarten losing it over a story about a woman hiding a gun in her vagina (what Potash called a “caboose pistol”); Bill Kurtis delivering a deadpan reading of producer Jeff Hoover’s tweets; and reporter Marcella Raymond recalling slamming into a 9-year-old while sledding in the snow.

While it’s been known since last spring that Live with Kelly & Michael is heading for ABC 7, it still isn’t known what time the show will air on its new station. If it remains in its current 9am slot, as some believe likely, ABC 7 would have to move Windy City Live, the locally produced talk show hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini. Speculation is that Windy City Live would switch to 11am.

In the February Nielsens, Windy City Live continued to lead the market at 9am among overall households — albeit by a much smaller margin than Oprah Winfrey commanded. But among adults between 25 and 54 (and specifically women between 25 and 54), Live with Kelly & Michael was No. 1 — a fact that surely will weigh in ABC 7's decision.

Also-rans in the time period are Let’s Make a Deal on CBS 2, the 9am hour of Today on NBC 5, and — in dead last — the final hour of Good Day Chicago on Fox 32.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)