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Mary Frances Bragiel Exits WLS-AM, Joins IL Treasurer's Office As Communications Director

After over a decade of working as a news reporter and anchor for Chicago radio and television, Mary Frances Bragiel has decided to exit that end of the local media spectrum to instead influence and support local media from a political perspective. Bragiel has agreed to become the Communications Director for Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

She begins her new role on June 3rd and will be based out of the Treasurer's Chicago office.

Mary Frances Bragiel began her career in local media as a news intern at WGN-AM in January 1996. From there, she moved into TV news as a reporter, working in such smaller markets as Grand Junction, CO, Lynchburg, VA, and Roanoke, VA. In April 2002, she was given the opportunity to return to her hometown and work as a general assignment reporter for CLTV, where she stayed for three and a half years.

In October 2005, Bragiel returned to her radio roots, joining WBBM-AM as a part-time reporter. Just under six years later, in August 2011, she exited WBBM-AM to take a more prominent role at WLS-AM as their evening news anchor and morning/afternoon reporter.

Along the way, Mary Francis Bragel also did freelance work on a national basis as a field producer (and occasional on-camera reporting) for ABC News and FOX News Channel. Additionally, she was a contributing writer for Today's Chicago Woman magazine from 2010-2012.

For WLS-AM, they have now lost their third evening news anchor in a little under two years. In June 2011, Lise Dominique exited to join FM News 101.1. Her replacement, Monica DeSantis, left WLS-AM just a couple of weeks later to also join FM News 101.1. Now their replacement, Mary Frances Bragiel makes her exit.

Bragiel now leaves WLS-AM, so that next week, she may take on a position within the IL State Treasurer's office. However, being a Communications Director is not necessarily a new role for her.

Mary Frances Bragiel is a member of the Misericordia Women's Board and oversees all of the public relations for Misericordia Heart of Mercy Home in Chicago. Additionally, Bragiel graduated from Washington DC's George Washington University in 1987 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Communications. She also majored in Political Science and Journalism.

From her studies in college, to her years working in media, to her time engaged in public relations, Mary Frances Bragiel appears to be the perfect candidate to become the Communications Director for a State office.

In a statement, Dan Rutherford said of Bragiel: "I look forward to having Mary Frances as my communications director. I have always admired her work as a journalist, and I am confident she will bring the same integrity to my office."

Dan Rutherford was elected to the IL State Treasurer's position in 2010. Prior to that, the Republican politician served in the Illinois Senate from 2003 to 2011, and in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993-2002. He is strongly considering a run for Illinois Governor in 2014.

Said Bragiel about her new boss and job: "I am honored to be working alongside Treasurer Rutherford and the rest of his staff, and look forward to taking my professional background in a different direction."

Bragiel is a native of suburban Arlington Heights and a high school graduate of Lake Forest's Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. She currently lives within Chicago.


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