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WBBM-TV Releases Susan Carlson

As of this afternoon, news anchor Susan Carlson is gone from WBBM-TV/CBS 2. She has been with the station in many different capacities for the last 10.5 years -- from traffic reporter, to feature reporter, to news anchor.

WBBM-TV spokespersons have not returned requests for a statement on the exit of Carlson. It is believed that the extremely low ratings of of CBS 2 early morning newscasts, of which Carlson is co-anchor, played a large part in her release.

Susan Carlson is a Chicago native, who went to school locally -- graduating Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University in 1991 with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and English, and graduating from Roosevelt University in 2009 with a Master's degree in Journalism -- as well as working her entire media career in her hometown.

Carlson started out her broadcasting career in radio, working at north suburban WXLC-FM and WKRS-AM, delivering newscasts and working as a sidekick to the FM morning show. From there, she joined Shadow Traffic's radio services, working as its news director. Through Shadow Broadcast Services, she was heard delivering news and traffic reports on a few Chicago radio stations, including WTMX-FM, WNND-FM (now WILV-FM), WJMK-FM, and WSCR-AM. She spent four years (1998-2002) as a news/traffic reporter for Roe Conn and Garry Meier's afternoon show on WLS-AM.

She began on television in 1995, working as a traffic reporter on WGN-TV's Saturday morning news for three years. After that, she did some fill-in/freelance traffic reporting work for WLS-TV and was able to be a street reporter for the station's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage. In December 2002, Susan Carlson finally was able to land a full-time role in television, joining WBBM-TV as morning news traffic reporter. She also was given the opportunity to have a bigger role with the station as a general assignment reporter for the 5:00pm, 6:00pm, and 10:00pm newscasts.

From there, Carlson was given the opportunity to be a news anchor on CBS 2's Saturday morning newscasts and the short-lived "CBS 2 @ Your Desk" web-only newscasts. In late 2009, she as picked to deliver news headlines on the ill-fated CBS 2 morning show "Monsters and Money in the Morning." After that ratings-troubled show came to an end in August 2010, Carlson was named to be the initial morning news co-anchor on the newscast that replaced "Monsters and Money."

The CBS 2 Morning News ratings have yet to fare any better than "Monsters and Money" did, quite often doing even worse. Of all the major local television stations who deliver morning newscasts, WBBM-TV has consistently been near or at the very bottom of the ratings pile. Today's release is being seen as a way to possibly shake things up and find a combination that may increase the ratings. In less than three years since it started, all of the initial August 2010 on-air staff for the CBS 2 Morning News have exited the station completely, with the exception of meteorologist Megan Glaros.

As there is no comment from WBBM-TV as to the reason behind the sudden exit of Susan Carlson, there also is no official statement on a replacement for her on the morning newscasts. Inside word has weekend morning news anchor Marissa Bailey as being the likely new weekday morning news co-anchor.

WBBM-TV has already removed Susan Carlson's bio, photos, and pages from their website. Carlson quickly changed her Twitter account name from @SusanCarlsonCBS to @SusanCarlson111. A Facebook fan page, named Susan Carlson CBS, remains active for now.

Carlson once said in an interview that she had wanted to be a news anchor since she was a little girl. After watching episodes of the 1970's classic sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," which was set in a newsroom, she would then go into her basement, set up her dolls and stuffed animals, and would "write stories and deliver them the news."

Susan Carlson has received numerous awards for excellence throughout her broadcasting career. Among her many honors are five local Emmy Awards (two for her work as a traffic reporter and three for her work on WBBM-TV's Chicago Marathon coverage), an Edward R. Murrow Award for "Best News Feature," and a Chicagoland Achievement in Radio Award for "Best News Reporter." Carlson gained international exposure, when she was among the few allowed to be a "media witness" at the execution of American terrorist Timothy McVeigh in 2001.

UPDATE 5/18/13: While there is no official statement from WBBM-TV, a spokesperson for the station does say this was a situation where Susan Carlsom's contract was coming up for a renewal soon and CBS 2 chose to not renew it. She was taken off the air prior to the end of her contract.

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