Leila Rahimi to be First Woman Main Sports Anchor at Chicago’s WMAQ

By Kevin Eck 

Leila Rahimi has been named main sports anchor at Chicago NBC owned station WMAQ.

Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reports that Rahimi is the first woman to be named to the job. She takes over for Siafa Lewis, who left the station in November to work at CBS owned KYW in Philadelphia.

Rahimi has been working at the station as a freelancer since October. As part of her new duties, she’ll host Sports Sunday with Mike Berman and anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.


“Chicago is a huge sports town and we’re dedicated to delivering the best sports coverage to our viewers,” Frank Whittaker, station manager and vp of news said in a statement. “Leila adds great experience and unique perspective to our newsroom. Mike’s passion for his hometown teams shines through in his storytelling in a way that connects with local fans.”

Berman will become the weekend sports anchor weekday sports reporter, while Jeff Blanzy will continue as a part-time sports anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. on Fridays. Also from Feder:

In a twist of fate, she was laid off from NBC Sports Chicago as part of company-wide cutbacks in 2020 by Kevin Cross, then senior vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Chicago. Now as president and general manager of NBC 5, Cross is responsible for bringing her back into the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations fold.