Half-assed as usual, Fox 32 hoists ‘Good Day Chicago’ on weekends

Melody Mendez and Mark Strehl

Melody Mendez and Mark Strehl

With four days to go before the launch of WFLD-Channel 32’s Saturday and Sunday morning newscast, the Fox-owned station still has no idea what it’s doing. Which is typical.

No permanent anchors or reporters have been assigned to the new edition of “Good Day Chicago,” which will air from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, starting this weekend.

All that’s known at this point, sources said, is that Melody Mendez will anchor the show for the next two weeks. After that, she’ll be gone. Mendez is leaving to join New England Cable News, the NBC-owned regional news network in Boston, as a weekday morning anchor.

Weather, at least at the outset, is expected to be handled by meteorologist Mark Strehl, who recently got pushed off Monday-through-Friday's “Good Day Chicago” by Mike Caplan.

How secure is Strehl? That’s anybody’s guess since the station posted a job opening this week for a meteorologist who can double as a “news co-anchor and morning news show host when assigned.” (Among the qualifications: "Must be a great communicator and have ideas on how to make weather current, relevant and interesting to viewers even on days when the weather is quiet.")

Most Fox 32 staffers knew nothing about plans for the weekend show before general manager Dennis Welsh spilled the beans last month to Crain’s Chicago Business.

As of this week, they still don't know much more.

It doesn’t help that the executive producer of “Good Day Chicago” was publicly undermined on the eve of the expansion. After Dan Salamone ordered the show’s female reporters not to wear hats for outdoor live shots in winter, Welsh declared: "That is 5,000 percent not a station policy,” and said Salamone would receive “appropriate disciplinary action.”