Many sons and daughters of Chicago television personalities have gotten into the business themselves. Both of the late Chicago sportscaster Tim Weigel's children did so -- his daughter Jenniffer (yes, two "f"s in her name) has done acting and reporting and son Rafer (named after the Olympic champion Rafer Johnson, who Tim admired) has also done some acting, and most recently is sports anchor for Headline News' "Morning Express".â†µâ†µ
Today, it's being reported by Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune that Rafer Weigel is leaving Headline News to become WLS-Ch. 7's weekend sportscaster, replacing Ryan Chiaverini:â†µâ†µ
The TV industry subscribtion news site NewsBlues.com on Thursday reported Weigel has left Headline News' popular "Morning Express with Robin Meade," where he has handled sports for the last three years. "Tipsters claim he walked out on his contract and has been hired as the weekend sports anchor/reporter at ABC-owned WLS," the site said.â†µâ†µâ†µ
â†µHLN sources say Weigel's exit but not his destination was announced to "Morning Express" staff. WLS had no comment. Weigel could not be reached for comment.
Chiaverini was recently named co-host of a new Ch. 7 morning show that is to replace "Oprah" when it ends its first-run schedule this spring.â†µâ†µ
I worked with Tim Weigel for 13 years at Ch. 7. Terrifically intelligent -- he was a classmate of Gene Siskel and Garry Trudeau at Yale -- witty and knowledgeable about sports, Tim died far too young at age 56 of a brain tumor in 2001. Tim's father John founded Weigel Broadcasting, which put WCIU-Ch. 26 on the air in 1964; the company still owns that station and several others in the Midwest. It's nice to see this family tradition continue.