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Guest Speaker: Jenniffer Weigel

December 14, 2013

Author of three books, Chicago Broadcast Journalist, Actress.

Jenniffer Weigel is a Chicago television personality, author and performer who owns her own Chicago-area production company. She hosted *Taste*, a program aired on NBC affiliates both in New York and in Chicago and now writes a column for the Chicago Tribune. She appears on WGN Television and CLTV in Chicago to discuss her columns as the emcee of Trib University.

Weigel graduated from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois and earned a bachelor's degree in theater from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992.

Weigel began her professional career as an actress, appearing in productions at The Second City Northwest, the Wisdom Bridge Theatre and the National Jewish Theater. She also performed voiceover work. Over the next several years, she worked as a traffic reporter, a news anchor, and an entertainment reporter for WGN-TV in Chicago.

In 1999, Weigel and her husband, Clay Champlin, began co-hosting a Saturday evening radio show on WCKG-FM in Chicago. From 2002 until 2003, Weigel co-hosted a Saturday afternoon talk show on WLS-AM in Chicago. She continues to occasionally work as a fill-in radio host on WGN-AM in Chicago.

In 1999, Weigel began working as a free-lance entertainment contributor for WBBM-TV in Chicago. In 2000, she won the job on a full-time basis, and in 2001, she won a Chicago Emmy award for her feature reporting. In 2002, Weigel asked for an early release from her contract with the station after being reassigned to general news reporting duties.

After that, Weigel did some free-lance television reporting for ABC News' Chicago bureau and did some commercial and voiceover work. She also formed her own production company, JCW Productions, in 2002. In 2005, she began hosting and producing a weekly lifestyle magazine show on WMAQ-TV in Chicago called *Taste*.

In 2007, Weigel published her first book, *Stay Tuned; Conversations With Dad From the Other Side*, a book about her relationship with her late sportscaster father Tim Weigel and her spiritual attempts to contact him after his death.

The next year, Weigel adapted the book into a one-woman show called *I'm Spiritual, Dammit!* at the Viaduct Theatre in Chicago. Her second book, *I'm Spiritual, Dammit!* was published in October 2010, and is being published in German, French, Spanish and the United Kingdom.

Her newest book, *This Isn't the Life I Ordered: Setting Sail When Your Relationship Fails*, was released in June 2013.

Part manual and part memoir, Jenniffer pulls back the curtain of her life and shares how
getting a divorce, moving from her dream actually helped her gain a greater awareness and happiness. Her sense of humor reminds us that even though staying on the spiritual path has its fair share of challenges, you are not alone, and you will laugh again—dammit!

As a journalist, she remains cynical when gurus such as Wayne Dyer tell her to “embrace the Universe”—but the signs from something bigger keep showing up just in time.
Each chapter of “This Isn’t the Life I Ordered..” delivers a nugget of wisdom that will leave you inspired and entertained. Jenniffer shows the human side of trying to be spiritual, with several laughs and poignant lessons along the way.

Weigel also has had several acting roles since beginning her television and radio career. In 1999, she played a television reporter in an episode of the series *Early Edition*, and in 2001, she played a news anchorwoman in the John Hughes movie *New Port South*.

Weigel is the daughter of the late Tim Weigel, a longtime Chicago sports anchor and reporter, and his first wife, former WGN-AM radio reporter Kathy Worthington. She also is the sister of noted television sportscaster Rafer Weigel.

In June 1998, Weigel married Clay Champlin, a Chicago radio traffic and news reporter. They had their first child, son Britt Timothy Champlin, on April 14, 2006. They divorced in 2011.

Weigel has said that her parents added an extra "f" in her first name to differentiate her, given how common her first name is.

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