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WBBM anchor Harry Porterfield has retired from the Chicago CBS-owned station after a 51-year career in local TV.
“In typical Harry fashion, he’s told us that he doesn’t want to make a big fuss or throw a party to celebrate his amazing career, even though we all know he totally deserves one,” said co-anchor Roseanne Tellez on the WBBM 11 a.m. news Friday.
In 1985, Porterfield lost his weekday anchor spot at WBBM, sparking a 10-month viewer boycott that led to the hiring of Lester Holt. Porterfield was hired at WLS and returned to WBBM in 2009.
According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder Porterfield later said, “The first feeling I have is that I’m humbled because I was the focus of this thing, even though I wasn’t there. I was a kind of phantom in all of this. There was a boycott there at Channel 2, there was this picket line in front of that station for 10 months. Can you believe it? Ten months . . . to bring on changes. I wasn’t there and to think that I was a catalyst for that is really kind of overwhelming.”
He started his career at WKNK in 1964, leading to his hiring at WBBM as a newswriter that same year.
WBBM reports Porterfield and co-anchor Roseanne Tellez will be replaced by Erin Kennedy and Lionel Moise starting Monday, Dec. 28. Tellez will become a full-time reporter.