WLS adds Ponce Brothers to weekend talk show lineup

It’s official: The first family of Chicago television has conquered radio, too.

Reporters Dan and Anthony Ponce, the sons of veteran Chicago news anchor Phil Ponce, have been named permanent weekend co-hosts at news/talk WLS-AM (890). The two, who had been filling in together since last May on the Cumulus Media station, will be on from 1 to 3pm Sundays, starting this weekend.

"There's always so much more to report beyond time we have on TV,” said Dan Ponce, who continues as a general assignment reporter at Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9. “This is the perfect opportunity to tell the story behind the story.” He previously spent three years as a reporter at ABC-owned WLS-Channel  7.

Younger brother Anthony Ponce, a general assignment reporter and occasional fill-in news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, said: "We're hoping to give listeners a peek into the world of Chicago journalism, and hear their opinions about the week's biggest stories and how they're covered.”

In announcing their addition to the lineup, WLS operations director Drew Hayes said the two have “enormous energy, contacts and hands-on experience with Chicago’s biggest news stories which they combine with an organic sense of entertainment. More importantly, the Ponce Brothers bring an enthusiastic thirst for feedback, giving WLS listeners a unique opportunity to talk back to the ‘news media.’ ”

Patriarch Phil Ponce, host of Chicago Tonight on public television WTTW-Channel 11, is expected to make regular appearances on the Sunday afternoon program, too. "It will be an unbelievable kick to contribute to a show my sons are hosting,” he said in a statement. “I hope to bring some occasional context that comes with having been around for a while. Their role is to bring the kind of energy to the show they had as kids and argued over who got the top bunk. Or more importantly, who got the last piece of pumpkin pie."

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)