Published on Monday, 19 August 2013 16:30
Bob Sirott, who has been the co-anchor of WFLD-TV's 9:00pm newscast for over three years, will be exiting the station at the start of next month.
Sirott's initial contract with FOX Television expired at the start of July. He had been working on an extension, while the station made decisions on what to do with its news anchors. There were rumors that Sirott was looking to stay with the station, but was angling to have his wife, a former WFLD-TV news anchor herself, replace his current co-anchor Robin Robinson. That proposal was rejected.
Parting on good terms, Sirott will continue to co-anchor FOX 32's 9:00pm newscast with Robin Robinson through September 5th. At the start of the following month, he will be replaced by Jeff Herndon, who comes to Chicago from KAKE-TV in Wichita, KS. Herndon's first day on the air will be October 1st.
The exit of Bob Sirott does not come as a surprise. The station was hoping that by having one of the marquee names in Chicago media on its airwaves, that he would help raise WFLD-TV's poor ratings performance. Unfortunately, even with Sirott and veteran newsperson Robinson anchoring the evening newscasts, ratings continued to be extremely poor, losing every month to 9:00pm newscast rival WGN-TV.
These past three years have been Sirott's second go-round with WFLD-TV. For close to six years, between 1994 and 2000, he was the co-host of WFLD-TV's morning show, "Fox Thing in the Morning." His co-host for much of those years was Marianne Murciano, who ended up becoming his co-host in real life. The two were wed in 1999.
Bob Sirott has been a top talent on both Chicago radio & television since the early 70's. He started in radio, first as a part-time DJ on WBBM-FM in the summer of 1971, and then became a full-time DJ on WLS-AM in 1973. He quickly went from "Who is that new guy on WLS?" to one of the iconic radio station's top jocks. In 1990, he left WLS-AM and radio in general to pursue a television career.
As an NBC-TV/WMAQ-TV page during high school, Sirott always had a love for the television business. Starting in 1980, he was a featured reporter for WBBM-TV for five years. He won the Peter Lisagor Award for his reporting on the death of John Lennon in his first year at WBBM-TV. That job eventually led to a national job with CBS-TV on the magazine show "West 57th" and occasional reports for CBS' "Sunday Morning" program. A few years later, he joined WMAQ-TV as anchor for their Noon newscast, and then as co-host for "First Thing In The Morning," WMAQ's popular morning show. WFLD-TV then stole him away for the aforementioned "Fox Thing in the Morning." After leaving FOX, Sirott joined WTTW-TV to take over as host of Monday-Thursday "Chicago Tonight" program, as well as the Friday version of the show, the simply-named "Friday Night Show." A few years later, Sirott was back with WMAQ-TV, anchoring various afternoon and evening newscasts for the station, until he exited in 2009 over a contract dispute. He has been at WFLD-TV since July 2010.
While Bob Sirott may be saying goodbye to WFLD-TV soon, this is not goodbye to Bob Sirott's working in the public eye.
Last month, Sirott and Murciano, who had been doing a pre-recorded weekly radio show for WGN-AM, were hired by the radio station
to work full-time during the week. It is expected that in the coming days, WGN Radio will announce that Sirott and Murciano will be working a regular weekday midday shift -- most likely Noon-3:00pm -- beginning in early September.
The two have hosted a one-hour weekend show, the "Sunday Night Radio Special" for WGN-AM since 2007. That same show had previously been heard on WCKG-FM from 2005-2007, until that station flipped formats.
For Bob Sirott, it will be a return to weekday radio work at WGN-AM. He previously hosted "The Noon Show" from April 2007 until January 2010. For Marianne Murciano, this will be her first time doing radio full-time, after doing so part-time for many years.
With Sirott no longer employed by WFLD-TV after early September, it would not be a surprise to see him turn up at WGN-AM's Tribune Broadcasting-owned sister-station WGN-TV in some reoccurring on-air role before the year is out.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Bob Sirott, 64, is a graduate of Chicago's Columbia College where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. Over his long television career, he has received numerous Midwest/Chicago Emmy awards, as well as one national Emmy award.