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WGN Morning News to expand an hour, Dan Ponce promoted to co-anchor

WGN-Channel 9 announced Thursday that WGN News reporter Dan Ponce will take over as co-anchor of the 4 and 5 a.m. newscasts of WGN Morning News, along with Erin McElroy.

The change takes place Sept. 3, when WGN Morning News will expand by an extra hour at from 9 to 10 a.m. The added hour will be anchored by Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten.

Ponce, a Chicago native and former general assignment reporter for WLS-Channel 7, joined WGN in 2010 as a G.A. reporter. He’s the son of WTTW-Channel 11 “Chicago Tonight” host Phil Ponce and brother of WMAQ-Channel 5 reporter Anthony Ponce.

Other changes announced Thursday:

– WGN reporter Marcus Leshock will regularly contribute to the early morning newscasts. He had been a features reporter on WGN Evening News.

– Amy Rutledge will join the WGN News staff as a full-time features reporter for the 5 p.m. newscast. She previously worked for CLTV.

– Frank Holland, who’s been with the network for two years, will move to the afternoons as a reporter and substitute anchor for WGN’s newscasts.