- Published on Sunday, 30 December 2012 11:20
For the past 21 years, WLS-TV/ABC 7 has shown a local countdown special in the hour before Midnight on January 31st, ringing in the New Year. This year, the tradition lives on as ABC 7 will air "Countdown Chicago 2013," hosted once again by Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco.
Janet Davies has been part of all of the annual New Year's Eve specials for WLS-TV. In addition to co-hosting, she is also the co-executive producer (along with Christopher Bowen). Davies has been working and living in Chicago since being hired as an entertainment reporter by WLS-TV in 1984.
Mark Giangreco, who has been doing these live NYE specials alongside Davies for many of those past 21 years, has been the sports director and primary sports anchor for ABC 7 since 1994. He previously worked at WMAQ-TV for 11 years. Known for his fast wit, Giangreco was the perfect choice to co-host the annual NYE TV events.
Joining Davies & Giangreco this year will be WLS-TV morning news anchor Hosea Sanders, "Windy City Live" news and social media producer Ji Suk Yi, and "190 North" contributor (and newlywed
) Mark Nilsson.
The hosts will be at various locations all across Chicagoland, showing some of the bigger celebrations taking place. Davies and Giangreco will be in Rosemont, hosting the program from Hotel InterContinental Chicago O'Hare. The band Soul Asylum will be performing.
Hosea Sanders & Ji Suk Yi will be in north suburban Lincolnshire, hosting their segments from Viper Alley. The Prince tribute band "Prince Experience" will be performing.
Mark Nilsson will be reporting in from the Hilton Chicago in the South Loop. There, Mike Posner will be performing.
Additionally, cameras will be set up at City Winery, where Los Lobos will be performing.
As always, Janet Davies and Mark Giangreco will countdown to Chicago's Midnight, followed by live footage from the City of Chicago's fireworks display outside of Navy Pier. As the fireworks are exploding, WLS-TV will quickly superimpose the celebrations at all of the parties where they have cameras set up, along with the annual awkward kiss between co-workers Giangreco and Davies.
"Countdown Chicago 2013" will begin at approximately 11:08pm, just after New York's New Year's celebrations have slowed down. The live and local special will continue on until 12:15am, at which point it will switch back to the national broadcast of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2013."
For those unable to see the countdown on television, it will also stream live on WLS-TV's website, ABC7Chicago.com
Once again, WLS-TV's NYE special will be produced by Cathy Vlahogiannis and Edgar Vargas.
In a statement issued by WLS-TV, Janet Davies said: "Nothing is more exciting than live television, especially on New Year's Eve and I think Chicago expects us to put on a great show to ring in the New Year!"
WLS-TV's "Countdown Chicago 2013" will be the only live & local New Year's Eve show on Chicago television Monday night. In years past, other stations have put on competing shows, but to little success. When the time for Chicago's countdown happens, most of the other local television stations will only be showing reruns of their regular programming. The only exceptions are WFLD-TV and WGBO-TV, which will have national NYE programming, and Chicago Cable Access channel CAN 19, which will have the JBTV annual "Don't Drink and Drive" Music Marathon