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Corey McPherrin named Fox 32 evening news anchor

Corey McPherrin, a longtime Chicago TV sports anchor who shifted to host WFLD-Ch. 32's "Good Day Chicago" seven years ago, has been named evening news anchor at the station.

McPherrin will share anchor duties with Dawn Hasbrouck for the station's 5 and 9 p.m. weekday newscasts beginning in late September. He replaces Jeff Herndon, who signed off Tuesday after four years in the role and plans to return to Kansas.

"Corey's veteran leadership and knowledge of the market make him an easy choice for the position," Fox 32 news director Matt Piacente said in a statement Wednesday.

A south suburban native and mainstay at Fox-owned WFLD for more than two decades, McPherrin, 62, was off the air from late June until early August while recovering from open-heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve.

"I feel great," McPherrin said. "Some days I forget I'm even a heart patient. I feel so good; my energy is back."

McPherrin, who lives in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, has taken a long and less-traveled road to his new position, making the transition from sportscaster to news anchor.

"I don't see this as anything other than a logical step," he said. "The hard turn and the challenging one was certainly seven years ago, going from the everyday sports guy to the morning news guy."

Raised in Markham, the Butler University graduate spent seven years as a sportscaster at WABC-TV in New York before returning home in 1991 as sports anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Ch. 2.

He moved to WFLD in 1995, where he served as sports anchor for "Fox Chicago News at Nine" and also hosted the Bears pregame show and Sunday night sports wrap-up show.

In 2010, McPherrin shifted to a new role as host of Fox 32's morning show, making the transition from sports to news, a path blazed by others such as Bill Weir, who went from third-string sportscaster at WGN-Ch. 9 in 1995 to a prominent national news anchor at ABC and now CNN.

McPherrin said sportscasting is good training for being a news anchor.

"I think it goes back to that ability to tell a story," he said. "I don't know that everybody wants to or is necessarily equipped for that transition, but for those that are, it makes sense, and by and large, it seems to work."

Fox 32 weekend anchor Scott Schneider will fill McPherrin's role as co-host of "Good Day Chicago."

McPherrin said returning to the 9 p.m. news, where he served up sports reports for 15 years, is a "homecoming," despite the new job responsibilities. He said he will miss some parts of his morning gig more than others.

"I don't know that anybody ever gets used to getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning," McPherrin said. "That certainly is one advantage of switching schedules."

rchannick@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @RobertChannick

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