NBC Chicago adding lifestyle show

NBC O&O WMAQ is jumping into local lifestyle programming.

Starting Sept. 6, 2019, the station, which brands on air as NBC 5, will launch “Chicago Today,” reports Robert Feder.

The show will initially air only on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. but will eventually expand to five days a week.

WMAQ has hired Cortney Hall, who just exited independent station WGN’s morning news to host alongside Matthew Rodrigues, who also works for the website PopSugar.

The half hour show will air live and, to make room for it, NBC 5 will cut its 11 a.m. newscast to 30 minutes.

“Chicago Today,” whose name ties into parent network NBC’s “Today” branding is expected to feature paid segments disguised as part of the show, which are a popular way for TV stations and syndicated shows to boost revenue in a DVR-proof way.

NBC 5’s show will join other lifestyle programs that regularly feature paid segments in the market.

Chicago already has “Windy City Live,” which airs on WLS ABC O&O at 1 p.m., “The Jam” on WCIU (soon to become a CW affiliate) from 6 to 8 a.m. WGN also produces “Chicago’s Best” and “S.E.E. Chicago” both of which air during the weekend on Channel 9 and weekdays on CLTV, it sister 24-hour cable news network.

At stations with news operations, such as WLS and WGN (and now WMAQ), the production of these lifestyle shows is typically kept separate from the news division given the frequent use of paid segments.