For those who watch Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9 newscasts, there's still no word on when -- or if -- the recuperating Allison Payne will return to the station's flagship hour-long 9 p.m. newscast alongside co-anchor Mark Suppelsa. According to WGN News Director Greg Caputo, Payne is still recuperating from her mini-strokes, and there's "no specific timetable" for when her recuperation will be complete. In the meantime, Payne continues to co-anchor the station's half-hour early newscast, a role she has had since January.
As for the other big pending development at WGN -- namely the bringing together of WGN's unionized staff with the non-union employees of sister station CLTV -- that has apparently been pushed back to the fall, while the WGN office space is reconfigured to better accommodate both staffs. An inside source at WGN tells us the CLTV on-air staff have been asking a lot of questions about whether they'll be paid union minimums in line with their WGN brethren. And some WGN talent, we're told, are wondering whether they'll become participants -- willingly or unwillingly -- in some sort of 24/7 news reporting cycle. All will be revealed, for better or worse, sometime in the fall when Caputo said "we hope to have the CLTV folks over and up and running."