CBS is placing its faith in Carol Marin to boost the dismal local news ratings at its owned-and-operated station in Chicago.
Marin will anchor WBBM-TV’s 10 p.m. newscast beginning in February, making her the first woman to solo anchor a late-night newscast in Chicago.
Marin replaces the team of Lester Holt and Linda MacLennan, who will continue to anchor the station’s 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. newscasts. She’s also been named senior editor of the 10 p.m. newscast.
WBBM, which dominated the Chicago news ratings through the mid-’80s, has been in a free-fall ever since then. The station’s 10 p.m. newscast has averaged a 6.0 Nielsen rating and 10 share through the November sweeps, far behind ABC-owned WLS’ 12.5/21 and NBC-owned WMAQ’s 11.1/19.
Marin, who anchored WMAQ’s 10 p.m. newscast for 12 years, made headlines in 1997 when she refused to share a desk with talkmeister Jerry Springer, who the station signed to do a series of commentaries. Marin left WMAQ soon after and moved to CBS, where she will continue to serve as a correspondent for “60 Minutes II.”
“We believe there is an opportunity to create a smart and engaging newscast reported by a single anchor,” said WBBM general manager Hank Price.