On behalf of the "bald community," as Larry David would say, let me officially welcome Jim Williams.
The veteran news anchor and reporter at WBBM-Channel 2 returned from vacation sporting a surprising new look on the weekend newscasts he anchors with Mai Martinez. He'd shaved his head bald.
"It's just time to shake it up a little bit," Williams told me Tuesday. "I’d been thinking about it for a while. I got approval from my fiancée and the people at the station, so I decided to go for it. I think it's a contemporary look."
Williams had considered a more elaborate explanation for his change in appearance. "I was going to say: I’m back at work after a week of vacation and an encounter with Sweeney Todd."
But once he assures people that he did it just for fun ("I'm perfectly healthy," he says), reaction is overwhelmingly positive: By midday Tuesday, his Facebook page registered 223 "likes" and close to 100 favorable comments on his new profile picture.
Viewers aren't the only ones making an adjustment. "I’m still getting used to seeing myself in the mirror," Williams laughs. "But I’ll tell you one thing: It’s nice to wake up and not worry about your hair."
A lifelong Chicagoan and onetime press secretary to Mayor Richard M. Daley, Williams, 56, joined CBS 2 in 2002 after working as a correspondent for ABC News and a reporter for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9.