Starting August 5, Yi will join the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, where she will appear with Cochran from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
“She’s smart, fun and funny, so who else would you want to hang around with at that hour of the morning?” Cochran told me. “Oh, and by the way, I'm only two of those things.”
Yi most recently has written and hosted “The Grid: Neighborhood Eats,” a weekly restaurant column and video for the Chicago Sun-Times. She will continue the feature for the Sun-Times while adapting it as a weekly segment on Cochran’s show.
“Ji has become one of Chicago’s most compelling cultural storytellers,” Todd Manley, station manager and vice president of content at WGN, said in a statement. “Her fresh voice adds a whole new dimension to Steve’s show.”
Before joining the Sun-Times in 2018, Yi was a regular contributor to “Windy City Live,” the daily talk and entertainment show on ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Her position was eliminated in a cost-saving move.
She joined ABC 7 in 2006 as a newsroom desk assistant and was tapped for the job of social media producer when “Windy City Live” premiered in 2011. Her role on the show expanded to daily on-air contributor and resident foodie.
Yi, who emigrated from South Korea when she was five years old and grew up in rural North Carolina, attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, and earned a law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Of her new role at WGN, Yi said: “I’m excited to take part and enhance a fun and clever daily conversation at a legacy station that jump-starts the day in a meaningful way for listeners . . . hearing directly from them and connecting is the best part.”
Said Sun-Times editor-in-chief Chris Fusco: “Ji’s work at the Sun-Times has been stellar, and we’re excited about collaborating with WGN and her on ‘The Grid: Neighborhood Eats.’”
Cochran's show has been in the market for a new female presence since executive producer Mary Sandberg Boyle was promoted to director of news and operations in May. Boyle had taken on some of the on-air duties previously held by Andrea Darlas, who left the show in June 2018.
In the latest Nielsen Audio monthly survey, WGN tied for fourth place in mornings with a 3.9 percent audience share.
Friday’s comment of the day: Susy Schultz: I’m excited about the museum and the great stories it still has to tell.