After roughly three years in STL, Chicagoan-to-the-core Rafer "Rafe" Weigel has ankled KTVI (Channel 2) and is heading back to the Windy City.
Weigel, who had been anchoring the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Sandy Miller, has accepted an offer to move up to another Fox station, WFLD (Channel 32) in Chicago.
Starting Sept. 1, Weigel will anchor the station’s 9 p.m. newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays, and work as a reporter on some weekday casts.
"I would've loved to have stayed in St. Louis; it had become my home," Weigel said in a telephone interview. "But the chance to go back to my hometown and report is a dream come true."
Before coming to St. Louis in 2014, Weigel had worked at WLS in Chicago as a weekend sports anchor.
On a related note, Chicago television watchdog Robert Feder reported that WFLD's main co-anchor Jeff Herndon is leaving the station at the end of this month. He said Weigel is a candidate to take Herndon's seat alongside co-anchor Dawn Hasbrouck.
Weigel's roots in Chicago run deep. His father, the late Tim Weigel, was a legendary WLS sportscaster in Chicago; and his mother, Kathy Worthington, is a former WGN-Radio news anchor.
In a statement issued after several phone calls to KTVI, general manager Spencer Koch said of Weigel:
"We were happy to give Rafer his first main news anchor opportunity. We thank him for his contributions to the station, and we wish him all the best," the statement said.
While KTVI honchos seemed reluctant to talk about the move, one sports website reporting Monday on University of Illinois football said that "Fox 32's Weigel is 'optimistic'" about the 2017 squad.
Weigel also has worked for HLN Network, several stations in California and the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Sun-Times. He also worked in television and movies before going into journalism.