WTTW salutes retiring ‘Chicago icon’ Joel Weisman

Joel Weisman (Photo: WTTW)

An all-star lineup of Joel Weisman’s A-list guests over the years will headline an hourlong special tribute to the retiring host of “Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review.”

Airing at 7 p.m. Friday on public television WTTW-Channel 11 (and online at wttw.com/chicagotonight) the special will mark Weisman’s final appearance after a record 40 years as host of the weekly roundtable of Chicago journalists.

Weisman, 75, a lifelong Chicagoan and distinguished journalist in both print and broadcasting, announced last month that he was retiring from the Window to the World Communications station, saying: “Due to an ever‐increasing number of out‐of‐town family and professional commitments, and after much agonizing, I’ve decided it’s time to pass the baton.”

Among panelists confirmed for Weisman’s big sendoff are David Axelrod, Lynn Sweet, Mary Mitchell, Lester Munson, Mary Ann Ahern, Charles Thomas, Bruce Dold and Natasha Korecki.

Produced by Jay Smith and Alex Silets, the special will include a discussion of how Chicago and journalism have changed over the last four decades along with what’s described as a “fun segment” on Weisman.

“Joel is a Chicago icon,” said Mary Field, longtime executive producer of “Chicago Tonight.” “He loves what he does and it’s one of the reasons he’s been such a success. I hope this final show will demonstrate how much we love him and what he means to all of us at WTTW.”

The show will continue to air at 7 p.m. Fridays with correspondents from the ranks of “Chicago Tonight” serving as moderator each week.

(Here is the link to my story on Weisman’s retirement announcement.)

Monday’s best comment: David Sherman: Kyle Leonard was someone that everyone enjoyed working with. I worked with Kyle for many years at Pioneer and he always had a way of making coworkers smile while also keeping a firm pulse of the communities he covered. I personally saw him mentor young reporters & remind those he worked with that what we do is important, while also making it fun. I’m proud to have called Kyle a friend and will surely miss him.