By: Mark Fitzgerald
In recent years, the mid-point of WMAQ-Channel 5’s 10 p.m. newscast has had the look of a Chicago newsstand. Headlines from “tomorrow’s Chicago Sun-Times” were followed by tomorrow’s headlines from the northwest suburban Daily Herald, and then from the south suburban Daily Southtown.
Wednesday, the Daily Herald broke out of the pack, announcing it was decamping from the NBC-owned and -operated WMAQ to an exclusive news partnering arrangement with ABC7, a Disney/ABC-owned station.
“The exclusivity was the big draw — and, of course, being with number one,” said Jim Cook, the Daily Herald’s assistant vice president of marketing and promotion. ABC7 has been the number one rated local newscaster for its morning, early evening and nightly news programs since 1986.
Cook said the partnership with ABC7 will go beyond simple headline-sharing arrangement with WMAQ. “This will be much more elaborate in terms of resource-sharing, cross promotion, investigative reporting, and the newsrooms working together,” he said.
ABC7 Vice President and News Director Jennifer Graves said the two news organizations will share editorial, online, promotional and advertising resources.
“Our editorial and online staffs will interact daily in an effort to develop stories and present them on air, in print and on line,” she said. “We also expect to work on long-term joint projects. We’ll kick off our partnership with a statewide and regional election poll later this month.”
Paddock Publications President and CEO Doug Ray said the arrangement would be a “powerful combination of news and information from the city and the suburbs.”
ABC 7’s chief investigative reporter, Chuck Goudie, already writes a column each Monday in the Daily Herald.