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As Chicago's WLS-TV Plans to Replace Oprah, Station Considers 'Apprentice' Winner Bill Rancic, the Daughter of a Famous Football Player and Others Timeout Chicago

As WLS-TV in Chicago moves forward with a new morning talk show to replace "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which holds the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekday slot on the station, it's auditioning more than 20 candidates to host the new show, reports Robert Feder at Timeout Chicago.

Among those being considered are Bill Rancic, the winner of the first "The Apprentice"; ESPN radio host Bonnie Bernstein; Brittney Payton, host of WGN's "Chicago's Best" and the daughter of the late Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton; Stephen Smith, a sports commentator and NBA insider for Fox Sports and ESPN; Rafer Weigel, sports anchor for HLN's "Morning Express"; Roe Conn, an afternoon personality on WLS-AM; and Jeff Goldblatt, a former national correspondent for Fox News Channel, the story notes.

The producers are trying out the potential hosts in a variety of combinations, the story says. It adds that they hope to pick their final lineup of hosts and contributors by the end of February, although there is no start date yet for the show. Oprah Winfrey's syndicated show will remain on air until the fall, although original episodes are expected to stop airing by the end of May, the article adds.