Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders is co-anchor of WGN Midday News from 11 am-1 pm. Steve is a veteran broadcast journalist who began at WGN-TV in 1982 as a general assignment reporter. From 1984 to 1993, Steve anchored WGN News at Noon. He then served as co-anchor of WGN News at Nine for fifteen years.

He began his career in television on the other side of the camera as a studio floor director at WBRC-TV in his hometown of Birmingham in 1970. He had given little thought to a career as a news anchor until he found himself inspired while watching others appear on camera. Rather than allowing himself to sit behind the scenes, Steve said to himself, “I think I can do that”, and has been a success ever since.

His first on-air job was not in television, but radio, working as a news anchor and broadcasting hourly newscasts for WERC radio, where he was honored with numerous journalism awards for writing and reporting. He held this position from 1973 to 1979.

Being on the air was not enough for Steve, however. Steve made news in the air, as well. A two-year stint as a helicopter traffic reporter nearly cost him his life, when a chopper he was flying inside of crashed in 1976, near the Birmingham airport. Fortunately, Steve sustained only minor injuries and once again returned to more stable on-the-ground television. He moved back into television in 1979 as a reporter and weekend anchor at Birmingham’s WVTM-TV.

During his tenure at WGN-TV, Steve has won numerous journalism awards. Among his five Emmy Awards, is one commending his investigative reporting in 1991. Other accolades for investigative reporting include the American Bar Association’s “Silver Gavel Award,” as well as awards from the Chicago Bar Association and the Associated Press.

Steve was honored for his skill as a writer in 1998 with an award from the Associated Press for his obituary for Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko. In recent years, Steve has been honored with an Edward R. Murrow regional award for journalism.

Steve currently volunteers with the prostate awareness group UsToo, and has also served as honorary chair of Marklund’s annual Tophat Ball. Marklund serves the needs of disabled children and adults.

An avid guitarist, Steve was one of the Chicago news anchors showing off his rock and roll skills at Newsapalooza, the annual Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser. Another one of his unforgettable musical moments was jamming recently with celebrated Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy.

A graduate of the University of Alabama – Birmingham, Steve holds a degree in political science with a minor in communications.


Recent Articles
  • Chicago statues brought to life by famous voices

    There is so much public art in Chicago it’s sometimes hard to see.  But, if you take the time to listen to some of the statue’s stories, WGN’s Steve Sanders says there is much to learn about Chicago history. We hope you will share this story. And if you’d like even more information about public art in Chicago, click these links or go to the WGN-TV Facebook page. http://www.statuestorieschicago.com/ http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/facilities/artworks-monuments/ https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/yopa/yopa1.html http://www.singlondon.org/ https://www.terraamericanart.org/2017/04/04/terra-foundation-announces-art-design-chicago-yearlong-initiative-in-2018-exploring-the-enduring-impact-of-chicagos-art-and-design-legacy/ http://www.driehausfoundation.org/

  • WWII Veteran from Chicago meets the sailor who saved his life, 72 years later

    CHICAGO — An “Honor Flight Chicago” trip in 2009 was a bit of a rebirth for World War II survivor Norm Lasman of Chicago. He never knew who saved his life on May 11, 1945,  the day Japanese suicide bombers attacked the American aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill.  The smoke and flames left him unconscious and suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning for 19 hours. But after reading a book called, “Danger’s Hour,” written by Bobby Kennedy’s youngest son Maxwell, it […]

  • The human cost of no Illinois budget

    Across Illinois, thousands of developmentally disabled people are leading full, productive lives, thanks to group homes and their caring staffs. Yet, finding and keeping direct service professionals, known as D.S.P.’s is becoming more difficult because of long hours and low pay. As WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, Illinois’ budget crisis is quickly becoming a caregiver crisis for some of the state’s most vulnerable people. There are some 27,000 direct service professionals in Illinois who are anxiously awaiting how this plays out, […]

  • Lakeview Pantry feeding a need and feeding souls

    One in six people across Chicagoland doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from. And many of them are senior citizens, students, and working families. But, as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, Lakeview Pantry’s new location on the North Side is not only a very visible sign that hungry people are everywhere, it’s new space is feeding souls. Lakeview Pantry is part of the Greater Chicago Food Depository network which relies on private donations of cash and food. And Trader […]

  • Suburban restaurant’s ‘Found’ notes make every day Valentine’s Day

    There’s a place in the Chicago area where nearly every day is Valentine’s Day. As WGN-TV’s Steve Sanders reports, it involves a romantic restaurant, handwritten love notes, and two secret drawers. The drawer tables at Found are very popular. But, you can request them when you make your reservation. You can find this farm to table restaurant by clicking the link below. Producer Pam Grimes and Photojournalist Ted Parra contributed to this report. http://foundkitchen.com/  

  • Fix Your Kicks; 3rd generation Chicago cobbler opens his first shoe shop

    Who doesn’t go looking for a shoe repair shop at some point. And yes, most of them don’t make news.  But a shoe shop just opened in Lincoln Square that is making old sneakers, new again. And it may help solve some gift giving problems for many North siders. WGN’s Steve Sanders explains. At least a dozen Marins now own shoe repair shops in the Chicago area. And Joshua’s dad is thinking about opening a school for shoe repair.  And […]

  • Leafy greens growing in Chicago all winter

    Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood on the far south side made history with trains. But, new pioneers are moving in. Urban agriculture has come to Pullman, creating jobs and year round fresh food. WGN’s Steve Sanders takes us inside an amazing space that is home to Gotham Greens. The Pullman plant is their largest facility to date, and it alone produces close to ten million heads of greens a year. If you’d like even more information about their operation, click these links. […]

  • Nature’s Grace and Wellness; Pot with a purpose

    One year into Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program, the number of patients just topped 12,000 with retail sales of 28-million dollars.  The list of qualifying conditions is growing as well with PTSD, post operative chronic pain, and irritable bowel syndrome either on the list or about to be added.  Our Steve Sanders goes down on the farm with an Illinois family whose pioneering roots run deep. You don’t have to get high to use marijuana, and you don’t have to […]

  • The power of water; bringing people together

    How about something completely different from the divisiveness of politics?  We offer a short break now to remind ourselves what’s possible, that people CAN come together for a common cause. This is a story about the importance of water in our lives, public swimming pools open to all, and the ripple effect a small Illinois town can have on the rest of the world. WGN’s Steve Sanders picks up the story from there. You can learn more about Dr. Nichols […]

  • Medical marijuana in Illinois; a first look inside a cultivation site and a dispensary

    Half of states and the District of Columbia are now on board with medical marijuana. And nine states have marijuana issues on the November ballot.  Since the first sales last November 9th, total retail sales in Illinois topped 23.5 million dollars last month. There are now more than 11,000 medical marijuana card holders in Illinois. And 44 dispensaries have been licensed to sell the home grown marijuana products. Who are these pioneers, and what does the cannabis business look like […]