Steve Chamraz is coming back to Milwaukee later this month to take the open afternoon anchor chair opened by last year's departure of George Mallet.
He joins the station on Feb. 21.
The Marquette grad comes from Chicago's Fox affiliate, WFLD-TV, where he's been reporting since November 2008. Chamraz was chief investigative reporter at stations in St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., and spent two years as a reporter at Madison's WKOW-TV starting in 1998.
But his TV news career really has its roots in Milwaukee.
As he writes on his Facebook page:
"Milwaukee is not only close to home, it is close to my heart. I spent four wonderful years there while a student at Marquette University. I look forward to getting reacquainted with the city -- and buying my season tickets to Marquette basketball.
"WTMJ is also a special place for me. I had my first TV news internship at 'Today's TMJ4' in 1995 and went on to work a couple part-time jobs on both the radio and television sides of the newsroom before setting out on my reporting career."
He'll take the anchor slot opened by the departure of Mallet, who left in December and now anchors at WPTZ-TV in Plattsburgh, N.Y. In addition, Chamraz will report for the 10 p.m. news, and do investigative reports.
During his time in St. Louis, he made a splash off-screen as well, being named one of the "Top Singles" of 2006 by St. Louis Magazine. Wrote the magazine: "He had us at ... his willingness to get down and dirty: 'I do the dishes'."
To sample his on-camera style, here's a report from Chamraz in advance of last month's Packers-Bears NFC Championship:
On TV: As long as we've been talking about Chicago's Fox station, WFLD, it has brought back former Channel 58 weather forecaster Tammie Souza late last month. The station is also the current home of former Channel 12 forecaster Mark Strehl.
- Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews visits Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show" at 10:35 tonight on Channel 4.
- The latest "Friends" alum to get a sitcom is Matthew Perry, whose "Mr. Sunshine" premieres at 8:30 tonight on Channel 12. Courteney Cox has "Cougar Town," also on ABC, and Matt LeBlanc has Showtime's "Episodes."
- Also getting a new show is Keith Olbermann, who is joining Al Gore's Current cable and satellite channel. The former MSNBC host will have a prime-time weeknight show later this year, and he'll be Current Media's "Chief News Officer."
- The "Glee" cast is going on a nationwide tour later this year, but it doesn't include Milwaukee. The closest stop is a June 3 concert in Chicago.
Targeting Paul Ryan: Daily Kos, the liberal Internet site, has bought airtime on southeast Wisconsin radio stations attacking conservative U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, saying the Janesville Republican "thinks he deserves better than you."
Ryan, who chairs the Budget Committee in the Republican-controlled House, has become a major target for the left, especially since he gave the GOP response to the president's State of the Union address.
According to the attack ad, "Congressman Ryan gets affordable health care, with protections against insurance companies cutting him and his family off. No lifetime limits. No annual caps. No preexisting conditions.
"But last month Ryan voted to deny you and your family these same protections."
You can listen to the spot here.
It's airing on WMCS-AM (1290), Racine's WRJN-AM (1400)/WEZY-FM (92.1) and Janesville's WCLO-AM (1230)/WJVL-FM (99.9).
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.