Michelle Relerford, who's won high marks as weekend news anchor at WMAQ-Channel 5, is moving up to join Zoraida Sambolin on “NBC 5 News Today,” the NBC-owned station's Monday through Friday morning newscast.
Starting August 17, Relerford will anchor solo from 4 to 5 a.m. weekdays and report from the “news update desk” from 5 to 7 a.m. while Sambolin anchors. Traffic reporter Kye Martin and meteorologists Andy Avalos and Alicia Roman continue in their roles.
Alex Maragos, who now co-anchors with Sambolin, will move to weekends, taking over for Relerford at 5 and 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. He'll also report during the week.
The moves are part of a wide-ranging reorganization of anchor roles at NBC 5 announced to the staff today. They were prompted in part by the announced resignation of weekend morning anchor Katie Kim, who's moving back home to California, and the death of veteran Chicago broadcast journalist Dick Johnson, who anchored weekend nights.
Reporter Kate Chappell will succeed Kim as Saturday and Sunday morning anchor. On Sundays, Chappell will be joined by Siafa Lewis, who’s taking on additional duties as news anchor while continuing as NBC 5's lead sports anchor during the week.
Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, noted that Relerford, Maragos and Chappell were born and raised in the Chicago area.
“These new assignments with anchors and reporters who grew up here and know the Chicago area well will enhance our already strong lineup,” Whittaker said. “It’s great to be able to use the individual strengths of our team to continually improve our newscasts and connect with viewers.”
Relerford, a Chicago native and graduate of Whitney Young High School and the University of Connecticut, joined NBC 5 as a reporter and fill-in news anchor in 2011. She's been anchoring weekend evenings since 2017.
Maragos, a Chicago native and graduate of Loyola Academy in Wilmette and Washington and Lee University in Virginia, joined NBC 5 in 2015. He replaced Stefan Holt as weekday morning news anchor alongside Sambolin in 2016.
Chappell, a native of Lake Geneva and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined NBC 5 as a reporter and fill-in news anchor in 2018.
Lewis, who was born in West Germany to Liberian parents who were graduate students, moved with his family to New Jersey as a young boy and graduated from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. He joined NBC 5 in 2014, and was named to succeed Mike Adamle as lead sports anchor in 2017.
Following a recent on-air tryout as a news anchor, Lewis said: “This is just me seeing if I can expand my horizons. I’m multi-faceted, pretty eccentric and I hate being placed in a box.” He follows other Chicago sportscasters who've made the leap to news, including Ryan Baker at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Corey McPherrin at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.
Rob Stafford and Allison Rosati continue to co-anchor at 5, 6 and 10 pm.. weekdays.
With Maragos moving to weekends, Marion Brooks will anchor the 11 a.m. weekdays newscast solo.