Chicago — The Disney Owned-and-Operated ABC station WLS (“ABC7”) released Ron Rolland on Friday, reports Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times. Rolland, who was the voice of WLS and WBBM in Chicago spent 19 years with the ABC O&O as a staff announcer.
Emily Barr, station GM and vice president of programming and creative services director Tom Hebel announced that Rolland would be replaced with Roger Rose, who’s based in L.A.
WLS is on the top of the heap in the ratings; the station is running on all cylinders. Why make changes? There’s an old saying that may people may be familiar with: If it’s isn’t broke…
Particularly puzzling is this statement:
“This is another way we continue to tweak our product,” a WLS spokeswoman said.
I don’t live in the market, but does the product need tweaking? The sweeps numbers prove that tweaking isn’t necessary, unless “tweaking” means the station budget. The station V.O. is an important aspect of a station’s imaging. Changes should not be done lightly. Roberta Solomon is the third “voice” of KSDK in 10 years. Chuck Conners (who’s based in St. Louis) was the voice of KSDK for over 15 years, followed by Charlie Van Dyke (who lent his voice to KTVI in the 1980s) for three years, and now Roberta Solomon. No doubt the audience has noticed the frequent changes.
The late Chris Clausen was heard on KTVI for over 15 years up until his death last year, where he still provided his voice for promos, as a secondary voice to Scott Chapin.
Just for information’s sake, here’s the current voice line up in St. Louis:
KTVI: Scott Chapin (News & Promos)
KMOV: Richard Malmos (News & Promos)
KSDK: Roberta Solomon (News)
KPLR: Jeff Laurence (Promos)
KDNL: ? (Promos)