Published on Friday, 22 June 2012 13:41
Robin Robinson, who has been lead news anchor at WFLD-TV since it first launched full newscasts in August 1987, is on her way out after 25 years at the station. According to multiple inside sources, Robinson's contract, which expires next month, is not being renewed.
This marks the biggest change to the station's newscasts in many years, and the biggest since Vice President and News Director Phyllis Schwartz took over in that position
Robinson, 54, is a Chicago native who has been working in TV news for 33 years, with 28 of those years in her hometown. She began in 1979 as reporter for San Diego's KGTV-TV, later moving up to morning news anchor. Three years later, she accepted a job as a consumer reporter for Denver's KMGH-TV. Two years later, in 1984, Robinson was brought back to Chicago to be the consumer reporter for WBBM-TV/CBS 2. She was later promoted up to weekend/fill-in news anchor and reporter.
In 1987, WFLD-TV was looking to launch full newscasts on its station and put together a new and exciting news team. One of the first hired was Robinson (then going by the name Robin Robinson-Brantley), who was paired up with Philadelphia news anchor Kris Long to be the "Fox 32 News" nighttime news anchors. Long was her co-anchor until 1993. From 1993-2004, Walter Jacobson was her co-anchor, followed by Mark Suppelsa from 2004-2008 and Jeff Goldblatt from 2008-2010. Since 2010, she has been paired with Bob Sirott, who still has one year remaining on his WFLD-TV contract.
Robinson is, or was, the last remaining on-air staffer from WFLD-TV's original news team from 1987.
Despite WFLD-TV's ever-sinking ratings, for most of those years, the on-air performance of Robin Robinson was always a strong point for the station. She came off to the viewer as trustworthy, intelligent, a capable news reader, and appealing to both the eyes and the ears. In recent years, there were incidents where Robin Robinson did not come off as appealing to the public, especially when she would speak freely and not from a teleprompter or script. When Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl would do commentary segments on the newscasts last year, Robinson could not control the upset look on her face. She made national headlines, embarrassing the station, when last December, she blurted out her feelings that parents should tell their children that there is no Santa Claus. This forced an on-air apology from Robinson later that week to help quiet down the thousands of angry emails, phone calls and website comments it caused. There have also been questions of on-air chemistry with her co-anchors and the occasional flubbing of lines while reading the news.
For those reasons, combined with her high salary (FOX's budgets run from July to July and cutting out this salary would help the station out financially), and the fact that WFLD-TV is desperate to make positive ratings changes, it would appear that Robin Robinson will soon be a free agent.
Though she was born in Chicago, Robinson was raised in California, and achieved her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from San Diego State University. She has won numerous Emmy Awards for her television work throughout her entire career.
As there has not been any official statement from WFLD-TV officials, there has not been any replacement for Robinson named.
Numerous other major changes are rumored to be coming in the next few weeks at WFLD-TV, as well. General Manager Mike Renda's contract expires at the end of August. Insiders say that his contract also will not be renewed by FOX. Major changes, both in front and behind the camera, are said to be coming to the station's low-rated morning program "Good Day Chicago" later this summer.
NOTE: See very important updates on this article HERE and especially HERE.