Windy City Live
Also known asWCL
GenreTalk show
Presented byVal Warner
Ryan Chiaverini
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons9 (2019-2020 Season)
No. of episodes2,000+
Executive producerHank Mendheim[1]
Production locationsWLS-TV ABC7 Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Camera setupMultiple
Running time40-45 minutes
Production companiesWLS-TV
Original networkSyndicated, ABC O&Os and Affiliates
Audio formatMTS stereo
Original releaseMay 26, 2011 (2011-05-26) –
External links

Windy City Live (WCL) is a local daytime talk show that is broadcast on WLS-TV and based in Chicago, Illinois. It premiered on May 26, 2011 as a replacement of The Oprah Winfrey Show which retired that month and is produced by WLS-TV (ABC 7 Chicago). The talk show is filmed in front of a live audience weekdays at the ABC7 Studios in the Chicago Loop on State Street.[2] Current and original hosts are Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini.

In November 2019, Windy City Live aired its 2,000th live episode with multiple special guests and performances.[3] Windy City Live maintains strong viewership ratings, and has been nominated for and won numerous Chicago Emmy awards.[4]


Windy City Live combines talk, entertainment, celebrity guest appearances, localized Chicago interests, and more in a 60-minute show.[5] Original co-hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini are joined by guest contributors Roe Conn, an American talk radio host, and television producer Hank Mendheim.[6] Ji Suk Yi had also served as a contributor and later co-host of the show until her departure for the Chicago Sun-Times in 2018.[7]

In July 2018, Bonnie Hunt, former host of The Bonnie Hunt Show, co-hosted WCL with Chiaverini while Warner was away on vacation.[8]


Celebrity appearances

Through the years, celebrity and special guest visits on Windy City Live have included: Anthony Anderson, Chance The Rapper, Dan Abrams, David Muir, Diane Sawyer, Tory Burch, Jenifer Lewis, Valerie Jarrett, LaVar Ball, Masi Oka, G Eazy, Rick Bayless, Garry McCarthy, Shea Couleé, Sinbad, Nick Cannon, Jay Pharoah, Brett Eldredge, Kevin Hart, Mr. T, Michael Pfleger, Carla Hall, Chris Redd, Rahm Emanuel, Pat Quinn, Jennifer Hudson, Brian Urlacher, Martha Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Rosie O'Donnel, Martha Wash, and more.[9][10]

On November 13, 2018, Michelle Obama previewed her newest book, Becoming, in an interview with Warner on the show.[11] The Chicago interview took place the same day her national book tour kicked off at the United Center with Oprah.


The show is filmed in front of a live audience weekdays at 1 p.m. CDT based at ABC7 Studios in downtown Chicago. The running time is between 40–45 minutes per episode. Tickets to participate in the live audience are free of charge and available online first-come, first-served. Matt Knutson has been the executive producer since 2015.[12]

The Windy City Live set was once home of The Oprah Winfrey Show until 1988, before it moved to Harpo Studios in West Loop, Chicago.[13] Following the end of Oprah in 2011, Windy City Live initially replaced the 9 a.m. CDT time slot in Chicago on WLS-TV.


Windy City Live is currently in its tenth season. Early ratings peaked at viewership of over 105,000 Chicago households per episode.[14] In recent years, viewership has remained steady with strong ratings among women 25 to 54.

The talk show's social media presence remains strong with over 344,000 Facebook and 38,000 Twitter followers.[15][16] Its YouTube channel has nearly 32,000 subscribers with videos highlighting Chicago food, celebrity impressions, and highlights from daily episodes.

In 2016, Windy City Live won a Chicago/Midwest Emmy in the program category of best interview/discussion. The following year, Ryan Chiaverini won a Chicago/Midwest Emmy award for best Program Host/Moderator in his role on the series.[17] It is the talk show's fifth Emmy award overall.


  1. ^ Feder, Robert (1 November 2019). "ABC 7 names Hank Mendheim executive producer of 'Windy City Live'". Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Windy City LIVE now on at 9 a.m. on ABC 7/Channel 7 | Hosted by Val Warner, Ryan Chiaverini, Windy city live". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  3. ^ Swartz, Tracy. "Meet the 'Windies.' These Chicagoans are really, really enthusiastic about 'Windy City Live.'". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ "ABC 7 Chicago wins six Chicago Emmy Awards". ABC7 Chicago. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  5. ^ "About Windy City LIVE". ABC7 Chicago. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Meet the co-hosts and contributors of Windy City LIVE". ABC7 Chicago. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Report: WLS Cuts Windy City Live Contributor". Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  8. ^ Swartz, Tracy. "Bonnie Hunt shines as guest co-host of 'Windy City Live'". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Next on Windy City LIVE". ABC7 Chicago. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Windy City LIVE Sizzle Reel (2012)". 31 January 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  11. ^ "WCL EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Michelle Obama". ABC7 Chicago. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  12. ^ "WLS-Channel 7's new 'Windy City Live' leader Matt Knutson charts his course for the show". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  13. ^ Davies, Janet (4 January 2018). "190 North State Street celebrates 100 years". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  14. ^ Lazare, Lewis. "WLS-Channel 7's 'Windy City Live' still making a splash as it turns seven". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Windy City LIVE Facebook".
  16. ^ "WindyCityLIVE (@WindyCityLIVE) | Twitter".
  17. ^ "ABC7 honored with 9 Midwest Emmy Awards". ABC7 Chicago. 3 December 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2018.