WLS-Channel 7 hires Rafer Weigel as weekend sports anchor
By Lewis Lazare Media & Marketing Columnist March 8, 2011 5:23PM
Updated: May 10, 2011 8:23PM
It’s official. Rafer Weigel will become the new weekend sports anchor and reporter at top-rated WLS-Channel 7, effective March 21. He replaces Ryan Chiaverini who was recently named co-host of Channel 7’s new live morning show “Windy City Live.”
Rafer Weigel, 41, is the son of the late Tim Weigel, sports anchor and reporter at Channel 7 for 17 years. But Weigel said he hopes to establish his own identity at Channel 7: “Replacing my dad would be like trying to replace Michael Jordan: It’s not possible.”
WLS news director Jennifer Graves called Rafer Weigel a “talented broadcaster who has worked hard to earn his stripes.” She also said Weigel “loves this city and has never lost his passion for following Chicago sports teams.”
Most recently, Weigel was the sports anchor on CNN HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” where he did a sports report for viewers who aren’t sports fanatics. He grew up in Evanston, attended Evanston Township High School and earned a degree in theater at the University of Illinois.
He started out as an actor in Chicago theater before moving to Hollywood where he landed roles in several movies and TV series. “I’ve always loved sports, but I initially went into acting because it was the one thing I could do that my father couldn’t do,” explained the new Channel 7 sports anchor, who said football and basketball are his two favorite sports.
Returning to Chicago after his father’s death in 2001, Weigel worked as a freelance sports reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times before returning to the west coast and getting his first jobs in TV journalism in San Diego and Sacramento. Weigel joined HNL in 2008.