The new face of traffic on “Good Day Chicago” is Jenny Milkowski, a 31-year-old writer, producer, reporter, blogger and actress who describes herself as “a pure-bred Polish chick.”
On Monday, Milkowski began as on-camera traffic reporter at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32, which airs from 4:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays. Since October 2013 she has been employed by Total Traffic Network, delivering radio traffic reports for several iHeartMedia stations and alternating with two other reporters as unseen traffic voices on “Good Day Chicago.”
The job has been open since January when Fox 32 dropped Sondra Solarte after almost 10 years of solid work at the station. Despite her popularity among viewers and co-workers, Solarte was never shown on camera after she returned from her second maternity leave over the summer because her bosses apparently deemed her not sufficiently telegenic.
Milkowski, a suburban Chicago native and 2006 broadcast journalism graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, began as a reporter and weather anchor for WJFW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Back home she worked as a production assistant on “The Jerry Springer Show,” a field producer for Tribune Media CLTV and WGN-Channel 9, a writer and producer for CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and a ChicagoNow blogger.
She also studied improv at The Second City and hosted a variety of local productions.
“I’ve grown up with my family owning a Polish deli in the city, full of mom’s home cooking,” Milkowski said in her 2013 audition to host “Check, Please!” on public WTTW-Channel 11. “What screams Chicago more than a pure-bred Polish chick who loves her pierogies?”