15 Nov WGN-TV’s Jennifer Lyons Named 2017 News Director of the Year by Broadcasting & Cable
Chicago IL, November 15, 2017– Tribune Broadcasting is pleased to announce Jennifer Lyons of WGN-TV, Chicago, has been named News Director of the Year by Broadcasting & Cable.
Each year Broadcasting & Cable selects the top News Director of the Year who, “amid this fragmented media landscape, has directed their troops to create comprehensive, timely content with the most relevance to their market.” This year, that honor belongs to Jennifer Lyons.
WGN-TV has had one of its most successful years, delivering compelling content to audiences on all platforms in one of the nation’s most competitive markets. Amid a myriad of challenges Lyons has helped solidify WGN as Chicago’s voice and choice for news.
In 2017, WGN voluntarily dropped its affiliation with the CW Network and became a stronger independent station, while continuing to expand its focus as “Chicago’s Very Own”. That tagline is synonymous with this iconic television station, and is the prism through which viewers measure its success.
Lyons led the charge as WGN strengthened and expanded its news operation. She helped design a new state-of-the-art studio and a complete overhaul of the station’s logo and graphics in only eight months. WGN now produces more than 70 hours of live, local news each week, more than any other station in Chicago. She oversees news not only WGN-TV, but on Tribune’s 24/7 cable network, CLTV, as well. As a result, Chicago media reporter Robert Feder named Lyons the most powerful woman in Chicago Media in 2017.
“Jennifer completely understands the WGN brand, their loyal audience and the Chicago market. She is a uniquely balanced leader who works tirelessly to protect and serve those relationships,” said Larry Wert, President, Tribune Broadcasting.
Through all the challenges facing traditional media, Lyons has guided her newsroom to become a market leader both over-the-air and digitally. A 24-year veteran of WGN, Lyons has been the news director of the station since 2014,
Under Lyons’ guidance, WGN’s Morning Show has been #1 in the ratings from 6am to 9am for 6 years and counting – ahead of not only it’s local news competitors, but beating Good Morning America, TODAY, and all the cable networks as well. It’s an unprecedented achievement for an independent television station in a major market. This year has also seen a surge in the 9am hour as a powerhouse with unbelievable growth in the timeslot – up 30% from 2016. WGN’s Midday News and 9pm Newscasts are also ranked #1.
“Jennifer is most deserving of this award. She is a fearless, innovative leader who will also be the first to give credit to the entire newsroom for the success of WGN-TV News. This past year, she has done an amazing job continuing to build out our news products on all our platforms–digital, CLTV and WGN, while also launching a new news set and a 6pm news hour, which was competitive from day one,” said Paul Rennie, President and General Manager of WGN.