CHICAGO – August 15, 2014 – WTTW11, the Midwest’s premier public television station, announced today that longtime Chicago Tonight correspondent and substitute host ELIZABETH BRACKETT, 72, will retire from her position as a staff correspondent for the series on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Thereafter, Brackett will continue her association with the program, contributing ten (10) segments over the course of the upcoming year. A world champion triathlete in her age group, she is competing in next month’s International Triathlon Union World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.
“We are sad to bid farewell to such a fearless and accomplished journalist and an invaluable member of our team, but look forward to continuing our collaboration with Elizabeth as a special correspondent,” said Chicago Tonight’s Executive Producer Mary Field. “Along with her topflight reporting skills, her athletic achievements have been an inspiration to us all. We wish her the very best in the future,” she added.
“It has been a great privilege to spend two decades working with such a stellar group of journalists,” said Brackett. “As I begin this new phase of my life, I am confident that I will have many more fascinating stories to share with Chicago Tonight’s audiences,” she added.
Already an accomplished Chicago television reporter, Brackett took her skills national as a Correspondent for the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour in 1984. Among the major stories she covered were the Challenger disaster, the Mississippi River floods, and Hurricane Katrina. She signed on with WTTW’s award-winning nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight as a full-time correspondent in 1994, while continuing to contribute to the NewsHour. During her WTTW tenure, Brackett has covered local and national politics, the Chicago public schools, and the Great Lakes, to name a few. She also co-hosted WTTW11’s science series Chicago Tomorrow. In 2009, she became a first-time author with her book Pay to Play: How Rod Blagojevich Turned Political Corruption into a National Sideshow.
Brackett is the recipient of a national Emmy Award, four Midwest Emmy Awards, two Peter Lisagor Awards for Business Journalism, and a National Peabody Award for her television reporting from the 1988 presidential campaign, among others. In addition, she is a four-time world champion triathlete, winning the ITU World Championship in her age group in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She came in second in the world in 2013.
Prior to joining WTTW, Brackett served as a general assignment reporter for WLS-TV (local ABC affiliate), WGN-TV and Radio and WBBM-TV (local CBS affiliate). She is a resident of the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.
WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW Vme, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on wttw.com. Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as Chicago Tonight, Check, Please!, and MEXICO – One Plate at a Time, WTTW presents the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children’s programming to almost 2 million weekly viewers across a four state area. WTTW is unique in its commitment to serving the children in our community, with half of its weekday broadcast schedule devoted to educational and non-commercial content. Visitors to wttw.com can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and robust microsites dedicated to WTTW and PBS series and specials.
About Chicago Tonight
WTTW’s flagship nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight recently celebrated 30 years on the air. Airing weeknights at 7:00 pm, the award-winning series covers Chicago stories in politics, arts, science and technology, health, business, architecture, education, history and more. The program’s website, wttw.com/chicagotonight, includes original reporting, extensive video, a comprehensive segment archive, blogs, and special features.