Ryan Chiaverini fills in on sports — could this be a sign of a more permanent role?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Ryan Chiaverini, a sports anchor turned daily talk show host at WLS in Chicago, found himself back in the game after more than a decade away.

On March 1, 2022, Chiaverini was spotted filling in on sports on the station’s evening newscasts.

Chiaverini, who joined ABC 7 Chicago in 2006 as a sports reporter and was promoted to weekend sports anchor in 2010. He left that job a year later to co-host “Windy City Live,” a new daytime talk show produced by the station to replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He worked in sports broadcasting at several stations prior to coming to Chicago.

Windy City Live” was canceled in 2021, but the station announced both Chiaverini and his co-host Val Warner would stay with the station. They began hosting a truncated, weekly version of “WCL” called “Windy City Weekend” that airs in place of the last 30 minutes of the station’s midday newscast on Fridays.

Warner, meanwhile, was recently named co-anchor of a 7 a.m. newscast on the station’s newly launched streaming service.

The pair’s future at the station has been in question following the cancellation of “WCL” since it could be hard for ABC 7 to justify keeping them on payroll while they aren’t appearing on a show that, while never was a huge hit in ratings, was likely profitable for the station.

However, it’s hard to ignore that WLS is without a sports director at the moment. WLS parted ways with primary sports anchor Mark Giangreco in 2021 following an incident where he called a co-anchor “ditzy” on air and has yet to name a replacement.

While ABC 7 would only tell Robert Feder that Chiaverini will fill in “as needed” on sports, there’s always the possibility he could join the sports team on a more regularly basis given that it is essentially down at least one person. That could be similar to how the station appears to have found a way to make use of Warner on a daily basis.

Jim Rose and Dionne Miller are also on WLS’s sports team.

While Warner is assigned to a newscast, which could be seen as a conflict with any sponsored segments on “Windy City Weekend,” a potential more permanent role in sports for Chiaverini while continuing on “WCW” likely wouldn’t raise as many eyebrows; given that most stations are much less particular about mixing sports with sponsorships. Warner appearing on both shows isn’t unusual either, given that even network morning shows, including “Good Morning America,” often air segments that get “promotional consideration provided by” credit lines.