Chicago’s WFLD Struggles Despite Talent Shakeup

By Andrew Gauthier 

Chicago Sun-Times

The January Nieslen TV ratings book ended Thursday, and probably the most disappointed station in Chicago has to be WFLD-Channel 32, whose 9 p.m. hourlong newscast hasn’t yet begun moving in the right direction in the ratings.

Despite the hoopla surrounding the annual January return of the highly rated “American Idol” and the presence of star contributing anchor and reporter Anna Davlantes, WFLD’s 9 p.m. newscast managed only a 2.8 rating Monday through Friday, down from its 3.5 rating in January 2009. Under the direction of recently arrived general manager Michael Renda and news director Carol Fowler, WFLD has started making changes in its talent lineup and news content — presumably to make it a more formidable contender in the ratings competition. But for the moment, WFLD remains mired in last place in the ratings among the five major local stations with late newscasts.

WFLD’s major competitor at 9 p.m., WGN-Channel 9, also didn’t have a great January. More…