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Dick Tracy, Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting's director of content, has left the company, and his position has been eliminated. "It was not a good fit," said Molly Kelly, station manager at Weigel Broadcasting. "He (Tracy) couldn't adapt his talents to the demands of TV," added Kelly.

Tracy was named to the Wiegel post just over a year ago. He was responsible for developing new content and expanding the entertainment and local programming on WCIU-Channel 26 and other Weigel properties.

Kelly said two people will take over the work previously handled by Tracy. Patrick Baldwin is director of news content, and David Boul becomes director of talk show content.

At the time of Tracy's appointment, Weigel executive vice-president Neal Sabin pointed out that Tracy wasn't from the broadcast industry, but was nonetheless familiar with developing ideas and serving them up in fresh and interesting ways. Prior to joining Weigel Broadcasting, Tracy spent 11 years at DDB/Chicago, where he was a creative director. In 2007, Tracy formed DDB's first all-digital unit.

In his early months at Weigel, Tracy was involved in the start-up of WCIU's unconventional morning show "You & Me This Morning" hosted by local radio and television personality Jeanne Sparrow. Segments of the morning show are interspersed with WCIU's regular morning programming.

She may have the most devoted fan base in all of Chicago broadcasting, and now all of former radio host Melissa Forman's followers can rejoice that she will be filling in for the next month for Jeanne Sparrow as host of WCIU-Channel 26's innovative morning show "You & Me This Morning." Sparrow is taking a short-term medical leave of absence and expects to return to the show in late March. Forman had previously done two stints as a host on Clear Channel Radio Chicago's WLIT-FM (93.9). Her contract was not renewed last summer. "Melissa has deep roots in chicago and will do a great job hosting 'You & Me This Morning' while I'm gone," said Sparrow.

jeanne_sparrow_110_web.jpgWeigel Broadcasting's WCIU-Channel 26 is launching a different kind of morning headline news, information and entertainment program called "You & Me This Morning," hosted by Chicago television and radio personality Jeanne Sparrow. Plans call for the show to air weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., but only in segments interspersed with the station's regular morning programming, according to Molly Kelly, WCIU station manager. To allow for the inclusion of the locally-produced segments, Kelly said the station plans to run less regular programming. Kelly said morning viewers of WCIU will see elements of the concept start to show up on the station in the next eight to 12 weeks, with the formal debut coming sometime in the fall.

"You & Me This Morning" also will air on WCIU's sister station WCIU-DT-Channel 26.2. Kelly said the show will not only deliver content as a traditional over-the-air broadcast, but will provide original and extended content online and via mobile devices.
WCIU Producer Harvey Moshman will oversee the new morning project, which will be wholly locally-focused. As to when viewers might expect to see what kinds of segments over the course of the three-hour time frame for the show every day, Kelly said that was still being worked out and would become clearer as the show nears its formal launch.

"You & Me This Morning" host Jeanne Sparrow is a well-known figure in local broadcasting circles. She has worked at NBC-WMAQ-Channel 5, WTTW-Channel 11, and Tribune Co.-owned WGN-Channel 9, among other places. She also has worked as a voiceover talent and radio personality. WCIU still is seeking contributors for its new morning program. Applications can submit bio information, a photo and a two-to-three-minute audition video online at www.wciu.com.

Molly Kelly has been promoted to station manager at Weigel Broadcasting Co., parent of WCIU-Channel 26, among a variety of other TV outlets. Kelly is formerly the director of marketing & promotions for Weigel Broadcasting's Chicago stations. In her new role, she will oversee day-to-day operations of the marketing, promotion, content, programming and Web departments. "Since joining our station group almost 3 years ago, she has proven herself as a leader and someone who can get the job done," said Neal Sabin, executive vice president, Weigel Broadcasting.

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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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