WBBM’s Bill Kurtis Shares Personal Story in Aftermath of Tucson Shootings

By Alissa Krinsky 

Longtime Chicago broadcaster Bill Kurtis gave viewers a rare glimpse into his personal life during on-air comments he made Monday night.

While co-anchoring WBBM‘s 6 p.m. newscast, Kurtis spoke of his late son Scott, who had battled paranoid schizophrenia.   It happened during on-set crosstalk with reporter Vince Gerasole, who filed a package in the aftermath of the Tucson massacre, focusing on the the psychological state of Jared Lee Loughner.

“My son was schizophrenic,” Kurtis said from the anchor desk, “and I’ve been listening, of course, over the weekend, trying to draw parallels.”


Kurtis tells Time Out Chicago‘s Robert Feder, “I never wanted to exploit Scott and the illness, and always thought that if he wanted it to go public, he should be able to make the decision and talk about it…We’d been living with this for so long that when I heard some of the witnesses and observers who came forward Saturday [to describe Loughner] I felt this was the perfect time.”

Feder reports that Kurtis’ co-anchor Walter Jacobson was taken aback.  “Bill and I have been friends since 1973, and I was stunned by his willingness to open up about something so personal. I thought it was a very positive moment for him to have. I’m going to encourage him to talk more about it.”

Video of the segment after the jump…