Fox 32 promotes Corey McPherrin to top news anchor

Corey McPherrin

Corey McPherrin, host of WFLD-Channel 32’s “Good Day Chicago” morning show, will move up to anchor the 5 and 9 p.m. weekday newscasts, the Fox-owned station announced Wednesday.

McPherrin, a suburban Chicago native and 22-year veteran of Fox 32, will succeed Jeff Herndon alongside co-anchor Dawn Hasbrouck. Herndon resigned after four years to return home to Kansas. His last day at the station was Tuesday.

For McPherrin, 62, it’s a tribute to his talent as a broadcaster and his immense popularity that he was able to transition to news after a long career as a sportscaster. His assignment to the top news anchor job confirms that signal achievement.

McPherrin’s promotion could help Fox 32 narrow the gap with Tribune Broadcasting competitor WGN-Channel 9. The longtime rival is about to lose main news anchor Mark Suppelsa, who plans to retire in December, while WGN faces an uncertain future with Sinclair Broadcast Group poised to acquire owner Tribune Media.

At the moment Nielsen ratings show WGN leading the late-news ratings at 9 p.m. with a 3.8 rating (131,595 households) and 7.0 audience share, compared with Fox 32’s 2.5 rating (86,575 households) and 4.5 share. Among adults between 25 and 54 — the demographic most closely tied to advertising revenue — the margin is much closer, with WGN only 0.5 rating points ahead of Fox 32, according to August averages.

McPherrin grew up in south suburban Markham and attended Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills.

He graduated from Butler University and worked in Davenport, Iowa, Quincy, Illinois, New Orleans, Denver, Atlanta and New York before coming home to Chicago in 1991 to join CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where he succeeded the legendary Johnny Morris as sports anchor.

In 1995 McPherrin moved to Fox 32, where he spent the next 15 years there as sports anchor. Since 2010 he’s been anchoring “Good Day Chicago” from 7 to 10 a.m. weekdays.

Earlier this summer McPherrin underwent aortic valve surgery to correct a lifelong heart ailment. He was back on the air a few weeks later, declaring himself “all patched up and ready to roll.”

Fox 32 weekend news anchor Scott Schneider will succeed McPherrin on “Good Day Chicago.”