Ana Belaval, the charismatic and quick-witted “Around Town” reporter for the WGN Morning News, is about to be seen around the country.
In what she called the “pinnacle of a career,” Belaval will appear Tuesday on “The View,” as the ABC daytime talk show auditions new talent for the coming season. With the announced departures of Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd, and the return of Rosie O'Donnell, ABC will be recasting at least half the panel.
“I am extremely flattered, I am excited [and] I’m nervous,” Belaval told WGN-Channel 9 entertainment reporter Dean Richards on his WGN AM 720 show Sunday morning. “I just see this as a one-time opportunity for more people to get to know me and to get to know another Latina who is making it out there, and another Chicagoan. Because you know I feel very much a part of Chicago as I do of my community.”
Whether it turns out to be more than a one-time opportunity depends on how the show’s producers — and viewers — react to the high–spirited Puerto Rican-born Chicago broadcast treasure. “I plan to be myself,” she said of her tryout. “If there’s something I feel strongly about, I plan to speak up. But I’ve been invited. I don’t want to make America mad.”
A seasoned television news personality, former correspondent for Univision’s “Despierta América” morning show, and nine-year veteran of the Tribune Broadcasting station, Belaval, 39, has maintained a dual career as a standup comic, performing on improv stages and in comedy clubs throughout the area.
“This is a very big deal,” she told Richards. “I can only be thankful to you guys, my co-workers, my family, friends and all our viewers because I’ve only received words of support and a lot of love. That, to me, is a pinnacle of a career: If you have that one moment where you get to reap what you sow and put it on a main stage, and then go back to the people you love.”
In Chicago, “The View” airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Guests on Tuesday’s show include “Weird Al” Yankovic, Cynthia Nixon and Josh Gad.