‘WGN Morning News’ to start a half hour earlier

By Tribune staff report
Posted July 16, 2010 at 11:35 a.m.

Ratcheting up the trend across the country and in Chicago of expanded morning news shows, “WGN Morning News” said it will start at 4:30 a.m., a half hour earlier, beginning Aug. 16. It’s the first time in six years WGN Morning News has been expanded. Locally, WMAQ, also known as NBC 5, has already had a morning news program at 4:30 a.m.

WGN’s added half hour will be anchored by Val Warner and include news, traffic updates and weather. At 5 a.m., co-anchors co-anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten will take over with the remainder of the morning news crew.

“There’s an increasing amount of evidence that viewers are looking for news earlier and earlier because their lives are busier,” Greg Caputo, WGN news director said in a statement today.

“The last time we expanded was for much the same reason, as the viewers lifestyles were changing. We had a successful expansion, growing our ratings and our viewer base, and we expect the same things now.”

WGN is owned by Tribune Co., which also owns the Chicago Tribune.

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  1. Lars July 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Does that mean no more Andy Griffith at 4:30 in the morning? Darn…

  2. buck WILLIAMS July 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm


  3. Dave Elliot July 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    As much as I like Valerie Warner, I’d rather have two episodes of TAGS ( except the ones in color where Goober and Emmett become pivotal figures!)

  4. Larry July 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Oh great another half-hour of a program that doesn’t even really qualify as news at all. Worst local broadcast on TV.

  5. Ruth July 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    LOVE WGN. Best thing in morning news. Very funny. I don’t want to hear depressing voices and personalities so early in the morning. These guys make it interesting. Keep up the good work.

  6. jack (me) July 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Since I get up at 8, personally, I don’t care.

    However, since Bruce Wolf started the NBC5 News at 4:30 a.m., and is now underemployed, they could use him as another “sports oriented” fool here. However, WGN already has Tomasulo.

    All WGN now needs is more news anchors to have programming between 1:30 p.m. and the Evening News at 5:00, and something between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

  7. Ben Venuto July 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    “WGN News” at that time of day should be in quotes. At least Val Warner has some semblance of professionalism. Potash and Baumgarten seem to be running a variety show with Gilbert Gottfried on sports. The weather guy, however, is usually more accurate than Tommy “the sky is falling” Skilling.

    For all the news you get, a better approach may be to run the headline and weather strips on the bottom of the screen while showing two hours of Andy Griffith and an hour of Matlock.

  8. Roy July 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Our “lives are busier” eh? With how many million out there unemployed? I guess Greg means those who are “lucky” enough to have jobs and are forced to work longer hours to compensate for corporations that are trying to save a buck by squeezing the life blood out of their overworked and under-appreciated employees.

  9. Tom July 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    WGN news is so irritating to watch. All you can hear are the anchors pounding away on their laptop keyboard while the other one is attempting to read the teleprompter.

  10. Bunny July 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    As much as I agree that the WGN Morning News is kind of clowny, I sure wish they would put it on WGN America for the national viewership. When you have to move away from Chicago, anything Chicago-related on WGN America makes you feel less homesick.

  11. mr. Randy L. Bierman July 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    dear wgn. t.v gang you guy’s are wonderful people i watch you all time tom doe’s a wonderful weather forecast for a long time Randy L. Bierman

  12. pat July 19, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.

    i love ‘em there funny and weird and perverted. i love the around town. so it should be longer

  13. Tony July 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    That first half hour should be entirely run by Skip Parker – it would be the highest rated 30 minutes of news aired on any station at 4:30 in the morning. Skip is such a tour de force that he could simultaneously report on the sports, forecast the weather, anchor breaking news, report on traffic while in Skycam 9, do an around town segment and give a compelling yet not overly pretentious review of Inception while also interviewing Leonardo Dicaprio.

  14. Daisy July 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I can’t wait until you guys are on 24/7!!!

    Sleep is over-rated, anyway….

  15. Joe Bob July 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I agree Ruth ^.

    It seems like the other station’s reporters have no personality. The only time you see it is when they tell a corny joke and fake laugh at a story – I can’t stand that. WGN crew tops all IMO and I worry that they will one day be forced to hold back.

  16. Linda July 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Fabulous! I only watch WGN for News… just wish they would come back on Saturday mornings… like the old days..I am sure Robin,Larry,Paul,Pat and Val wouldn’t mind working 6 days a week…just kidding, but would love to see news on WGN on Saturday mornings…. its hard to watch the others…. I love the way they deliver the news its unique and refreshing!

  17. BigDaddyg July 21, 2010 at 6:55 a.m.

    I Love WGN you guys make my morning your better than the other news you keep it real and make people laugh and Val leaves a smile on my Face All Day long Keep it up

  18. Bob Carroll July 22, 2010 at 8:41 a.m.

    Are Larry and Robin feuding? I happened to catch the end of Monday’s show and she thought her mike was off. She turned to Tom Negavin and said “T-Neg it’s good to have you here. Good to get away from Larry for awhile.” Or soemthing very similar in meaning. Sounds as if there is friction on the happy set. Now, I notice Larry is not on today either, Thursday, 7/22. If anyone leaves, it should be her…..she can’t read a telepromter nor does she appear to be a happy camper! I worked in broadcasting for many years and I know these things occur. It becomes a real problem when the dirty laundry hits the air!