Four months after he was pegged as the new lead weather anchor at ratings-challenged WFLD-Channel 32, Bill Bellis finally makes his debut on the station's 9 p.m. newscast on Feb. 23. He replaces Amy Freeze, whose contract was not renewed.
Bellis comes to Chicago from KNXV-TV in Phoenix, where he served as chief meteorologist for eight years. Bellis said he never thought he would give up the sun and desert life of Arizona for the mish-mash of a climate we have here in Chicago. But he decided the move to WFLD is an opportunity he couldn't pass up.
Meanwhile WFLD general manager Michael Renda praised Bellis' dynamic personality, concise delivery and no-nonsense forecasting style -- all assets that apparently will be useful as Renda seeks to make his station the "go-to weather authority in Chicago."
That goal may be news to the folks at WGN-Channel 9, which in the thick of the blizzard earlier this month, identified itself as the go-to outlet for weather reports in the city. WGN has had the popular Tom Skilling on staff for years. Bellis is the newcomer. We will see if Bellis indeed has what it takes to knock Skilling off his perch.