WLS weekend anchor Ben Bradley has left the Chicago ABC-owned station after 14 years.
Robert Feder, who first reported the news, says Bradley chose not to renew his contract which expired Monday.
Feder speculates Bradley could turn up on NBC-owned station WMAQ or or Tribune’s WGN. “Either station could fulfill Bradley’s ambitions to anchor on weekdays and/or focus on investigative reporting,” writes Feder.
He started at WLS as a general assignment reporter and was named anchor in 2010.
In a statement Sunday, Bradley expressed gratitude to John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, and Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director.
“This was an incredibly emotional and difficult decision,” he said. “ABC 7 has been my home for 14 years. My co-workers are my friends. Our viewers are like extended family. John and Jennifer made a very generous offer to keep me and more importantly they were very kind and supportive when I told them of my decision to leave.
“I’m not saying ‘goodbye,’ I’m simply looking for a new opportunity to share Chicago’s stories. Until then I’m doing what all people on TV do when they have time off . . . I’m growing a beard.”