CBS 2 hires Joe Donlon as top news anchor

Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon, who stepped down last month after a stint at Chicago-based cable news startup NewsNation, has been hired as main news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. Starting May 2, Donlon will anchor the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Monday-through-Friday newscasts with Irika Sargent.

Brad Edwards, who held the top anchor job at CBS 2 since 2019, will shift to primary anchor for CBS News Chicago, the station’s 24/7 streaming news service, and continue as an investigative reporter.

Brad Edwards and Irika Sargent

Donlon’s hiring reunites him with Jennifer Lyons, the president and general manager of CBS 2 who oversaw the launch of NewsNation. They also worked together at WGN-Channel 9, where Donlon was main news anchor and Lyons was news director. Both NewsNation and WGN are units of Nexstar Media Group.

“I am humbled, grateful and excited for the opportunity to join the award-winning team at CBS 2,” Donlon said in a statement. “I love Chicago and have always felt a connection with the people here. This is home. There is no place I would rather be.”

Before joining WGN in 2018, Donlon spent 21 years as main anchor at NBC affiliate KGW in Portland, Oregon. Earlier the St. Louis native worked at KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona, and KZTV, the CBS affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas.

CBS 2 Chicago

“Joe shines when it comes to breaking news, investigative journalism and connecting with Chicagoans,” Lyons said. “The viewers appreciate his depth of knowledge, storytelling and personality.”

Of Edwards, Lyons said: “Brad’s meaningful investigative work and storytelling is essential to the streaming strategy for CBS News Chicago. Brad is a perfect choice to lead this effort, his appointment underscores our commitment to our live streaming channel. We look forward to watching it flourish with Brad’s leadership.”

Last fall CBS 2 picked up meteorologist Albert Ramon, another one of Lyons’s original four on-air hires at NewsNation.