WLS Sports Director Jim Rose Retiring After 41 Years

By Kevin Eck 

WLS sports director and anchor Jim Rose is retiring on September 15 after 41-years at the Chicago ABC owned station.

“The excellence Jim has shown as a reporter in the locker room and behind the anchor desk has been invaluable to us as a station,” said WLS president and general manager John Idler. “But even more important, Jim has served as a role model for countless young men in our community. Thank you, J.R., for these four remarkable decades.”

Rose joined the station in 1982.


“Jim has covered some of the biggest thrills in Chicago sports history with expertise and excitement,” said Jennifer Graves, vice president of news. “Chicago sports fans will never forget when he got drenched in champagne, courtesy of Michael Jordan, as we will never forget Jim’s contributions to ABC 7 Chicago.”

For close to three decades, he has co-hosted the Bud Billiken Parade, one of the largest African American parades in the country. As president of the Swan Group, one of Rose’s proudest achievements was helping to build and finance the Swan House, a home he and his group donated to a single mother.

He started his career while serving in the U.S. Army as sports director for AFN-TV in Berlin, West Germany.

“When I started my career, it was ring announcer Michael Buffer’s famous line, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble.’ As I close out 50-plus years in broadcasting, I will quote ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, ‘It’s time.’ It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Chicagoland for over 41 years. I’ve had a ball!” Rose said.