Lisa Labuz, who’s been a reliable, authoritative voice in mornings at Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM for 20 years, soon won't be heard at the crack of dawn anymore.
Labuz will step down as morning news anchor and local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” early next year and move to middays — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday — the public radio news/talk station announced today.
“For the last 20 years, Lisa’s warm, engaging presence has been a vital part of the morning routine for countless Chicagoans, providing all of us with the essential news and information needed to start our day,” Steve Edwards, vice president, chief content officer and interim CEO of WBEZ, said in a statement.
“After two decades of setting her alarm clock to wake up at 2:45 a.m., she has more than earned the right to sleep in a little later, and we’re excited to have her join us in the midday.”
Edwards said a search is on for her replacement, who likely will come from outside the station. Labuz will stay on in mornings until her successor is named.
In moving to middays, Labuz will become news anchor for "Reset with Jenn White," the recently launched news and talk show airing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Greta Johnsen currently serves as interim midday anchor. Melba Lara will continue as afternoon and evening anchor from 3 to 7 p.m.
“I will really miss the mornings on WBEZ after all these years," Labuz said. "It has been such a big part of my life for two decades. But I am really, really looking forward to being the midday anchor and especially to working with the 'Reset with Jenn White' team in the midday.”
A native of west suburban Clarendon Hills and graduate of Illinois State University, Labuz joined WBEZ as local "Morning Edition" host on New Year's Day 1999. She'd previously worked at the station as a freelance news reporter from 1993 to 1997, and at Window to the World Communications WTTW-Channel 11 as an assistant producer in 1995.
She also worked as a reporter and host of "Morning Edition" for Milwaukee Public Radio WUWM and as a staff reporter and host of "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" at WGLT in Normal, Illinois.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey WBEZ ranked eighth in mornings with a cumulative weekly audience of more than 300,000.
Tuesday’s comment of the day: David Morrison: In light of today's [comment of the day], I am reminded that Chicago has a vibrant and diverse radio environment. The ratings Rob shares show that while someone has to be on top, no one dominates the market. Right wing or left, whatever program does well, 19 out of 20 people listening to the radio choose to listen to something else. We cover all the bases here.