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Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson to anchor WBBM-Channel 2's 6 p.m. newscast

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Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson are being reunited at WBBM-Channel 2.

The iconic Chicago news duo -- who teamed as nightly news anchors a Channel 2 in the 1970s and early 1980s when it dominated local news -- will be paired up again starting Sept. 1, this time anchoring the CBS2 6 p.m. weekday news, the station announced this morning.

The station hopes the move to bring back one of Chicago's legendary local news anchor teams will ignite interest in Channel 2 news and spark a ratings surge.
Soon after they're back on the air together, WBBM will roll out its new 10 p.m. anchor pairing. On Sept. 13, Kate Sullivan will join current anchor Rob Johnson in headlining the 10 o'clock, as well as the 5 p.m., news.

"The teams of Rob and Kate and Bill and Walter represent the core values of CBS2 news -- aggressive journalism, combined with excellent, contemporary storytelling," WBBM news director Jeff Kiernan said.

The reunion of Kurtis and Jacobson had been in the works for months. It took longer than expected because Kurtis was deciding how to deal with his wide range of business interests, which include a cattle farm and his appearances in TV commercials as a pitchman for AT&T. That AT&T role is likely to end now that Kurtis is back in an anchor's chair at WBBM.

Kurtis and Jacobson started at Channel 2 in the 1960s, separately left, then were brought back in 1973 to anchor the 10 o'clock news in a partnership that dominated the local news ratings in Chicago.
Kurtis left for three years to work in New York as a CBS network news anchor but returned to resume the on-air partnership, which ended in 1989.
WBBM general manager Bruno Cohen made the much-anticipated reunion official at a newsroom staff meeting.

Kurtis and Jacobson accompanied him, as did Sullivan who joins the station after four years as morning news anchor at WCBS-TV in New York.

Jacobson has been back at CBS2 since February, relaunching his "Perspective" commentaries on the 10 o'clock news on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

He and Kurtis came together for one night last November, filling in for Johnson, anchoring the 10 o'clock news.

For 18 months, Cohen and Kiernan have been working to revamp the way the station presents the news, aiming to return the station to the top of the ratings at 10 p.m. In the just-ended July Nielsen ratings book, the station's late news remained mired in fourth place. The station's bosses hope that reuniting Kurtis and Jacobson at 6 p.m. will also help rebuild its audience at 10 p.m.

3 Comments

I guess Channel 2 wants to be #1 in the demo, 65-death!

We are so glad to have bill an jacobson for 30 years .well that's how long we been married an the rest is history.we love an enjoy them very much.we are so happy to have them back.in past I would look at cable tv.in order to c bill .jacob.I could not find .I found him when at one time I gave up news 2 at nite or any time .I was just flipping threw channels an boom there was jacobson saying his perspectives!!! I love when he makes his comments.please don't them go.thank-you so much.. Mary an Carlos berrout.

Dear Butch/Diane


Since the whole process started, I had informed Diane the people that had gone out to do the inventory did not do a good job and had missed a lot someone was to go back out she had stated they must be new and were sure, no one was sent out. I had stated anything would be assumed as her word over mine since I am only the client. Needless to say we had other issues where I was to give two lists and then told I could not after I started to ask about the first check in which I have some of the e-mails for this again, her word against mine and finally when I sent the receipts back in I was told when I got the check
By Diane if I spent first half, I would get other half again untrue because she has also stated I could substitute then come to find out that was untrue also, because she then came back and stated that I had to buy exactly everything I had and that is why I did not get the other $15, 000.. I do not under stand why again her word is believed and not mine, this has happed thru out the whole process since my house burnt down I do not feel that her word over mine is correct. There was never another inventory done, and why so much fabrication said about almost everything. Is this the way the office is run by deceiving the client, I was told from the beginning not to lie, well I feel that is all that has happened to me.


just wondering what you think I feel like I just screwed by my insurance company, they say one thing and then I am told something else, my house burn 6-3-09 and between the construction co and insurance company I do not who was worse

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on July 29, 2010 10:18 AM.

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WFLD-Channel 32's "Good Day Chicago" to start at 4:30 a.m. is the next entry in this blog.

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