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Former WBBM-Channel 2 general manager and his wife sell Printers Row loft condo for $467,500


Former WBBM-Channel 2 general manager Johnathan Rodgers and his wife, former WTTW-Channel 11 correspondent and former ABC News correspondent Royal Kennedy Rodgers, sold their 1,650-square-foot penthouse loft condominium in the Printers Row neighborhood for $467,500.

Johnathan Rodgers was an executive in CBS 2’s newsroom in the 1970s before returning to the city in 1986 as the station’s first Black general manager. He then was the Chicago-based head of CBS’ owned and operated television stations from 1990 until 1996, when he left town to become president of Discovery Networks. A Chicago native, Royal Kennedy Rodgers had been a reporter for WMAQ-Channel 5 from 1975 until 1978 and then was at ABC News for several years as a correspondent. She then worked as a correspondent for Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight” from 1987 until the mid-1990s.

The couple long have been based in the Washington, D.C. area, where Johnathan Rodgers had been CEO and president of the TV One cable network for more than six years before retiring in 2011. As the couple had started to think about where they wanted to live during retirement, Royal Kennedy Rodgers felt called to her hometown.

“We’d loved living in Chicago (previously),” she told Elite Street. “And I had always wanted to come back. So as we started to think about our retirement years, I was looking for a place, and we knew about Printers Row because I remember when (the area) was first turned into lofts. And being journalists, we loved the idea of living in a place where books had been made.”

So in late 2014, the couple paid $490,500 for the loft.

“We bought it thinking that we would then in a year or two, come back to Chicago,” Royal Kennedy Rodgers said.

For a time, the couple rented the unit out, still intending to eventually inhabit it. However, with their children getting married and having children themselves and settling out in Los Angeles, it became clear that the broadcasting power couple would be based farther west.

“We’re making the transition to L.A.,” Royal Kennedy Rogers said. “It became more and more obvious that we were going to be in L.A. Johnathan finally said, ‘Look, Royal, it’s not going to happen.’ It kills me to give it up. I was in (the loft) a lot, and I loved it. It was so unusual. It broke my heart to sell it, but we couldn’t afford to keep it.”

The unit is on the eighth floor of the Romanesque revival-style Donohue building, which was built by printer Michael A. Donohue in 1883, designed by architect Julius Speyer and then rehabbed and converted to residences in the late 1970s by architect Harry Weese and developer Duncan Henderson. The two-bedroom unit has two bathrooms, exposed brick, high timber ceilings, wood beams, large windows, views to the east, hardwood floors and a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Other features include a primary bedroom suite with a walk-in closet, a primary bathroom with a double shower and a large open living space with a wood-burning fireplace and a reading nook.

The couple listed the unit in November for $509,000 and found a buyer less than a month later.

The condo had a $6,993 property tax bill in the 2022 tax year, along with a $1,376 monthly homeowners association fee.

Johnathan Rodgers isn’t the only former general manager of a Chicago TV station to sell a Chicago home recently. On May 10, former WFLD-Channel 32 general manager Dennis Welsh sold his four-bedroom limestone row home on North State Parkway on the Gold Coast for $2.875 million.

Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.

Elite street: Join our Chicago Dream Homes Facebook group for more luxury listings and real estate news.


Bob Goldsborough , 2024-05-15 13:51:58

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