Palatine's Cassie Carlson comes home to join Fox 32 sports team

Cassie Carlson

At Palatine High School, she was famous as girls volleyball standout and team captain Cassie Jane Chaplinsky.

Now, after scoring a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017 and TV sports jobs in Lubbock, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee, she's coming home as Cassie Carlson, newest sports anchor and reporter at WFLD-Channel 32.

Matt Piacente, vice president and news director of the Fox-owned station, told staffers Tuesday that Carlson will start there next week. She replaces Kaitlin Sharkey, who signed off Sunday after two years at Fox 32.

Carlson, who grew up in northwest suburban Palatine and worked as an intern for Comcast SportsNet Chicago (forerunner of NBC Sports Chicago), most recently was a sports anchor and reporter for WMC, the NBC affiliate in Memphis.

Before that she was weekend sports anchor and reporter for KJTV, the Fox affiliate in Lubbock. She also has been a play-by-play and sideline reporter for ESPN+.

In an interview last year with Shold Media Group's Taylor Shold, Carlson recalled how her life "revolved around sports" from the get-go.

"Whether it was watching games with my dad and brother or traveling for my own games," she said, "I played every sport under the sun, but focused on club soccer since third grade and switched to club volleyball in high school.

"I devoted my entire high school career to volleyball. My team practiced Friday nights and played in tournaments every weekend. In hindsight that prepared me for the hours and sacrifice in the industry."

Kaitlin Sharkey

Sharkey, who left Fox 32 to explore other opportunities, will turn up tonight (Wednesday) as a guest co-host on Audacy sports/talk WSCR 670-AM. She'll join Gabe Ramirez from 6 to 9 p.m.

"Kaitlin is a terrific on-air talent," said Mitch Rosen, operations director and brand manager of The Score. "I've followed her career from Milwaukee to Chicago. We have been trying to get her involved with Audacy for a while. I'm glad two friends like her and Gabe can have some fun talking Chicago sports tonight."

Monday's comment of the day: Peggy Kusinski: From Keokuk to Chicago - what a career! I applaud [Dan Roan's] career and envy his scratch golf game. That and he is my husband's man crush! Welcome to the Dark Side, Dan!!