Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders is co-anchor of WGN Midday News from 11am-1pm. 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.

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

Recent Articles
  • Apes and Humans in Harmony: Local musician’s unique approach

    CHICAGO –All chimpanzees in the United States are now recognized as endangered species, offering them new legal protections from medical research and the pet trade. Still, hundreds of Great Apes are living in sanctuaries. And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, a Chicago musician and composer is hoping his music will touch chimps lives as much as they’ve touched his. Advocates say consumers can help by avoiding products that use chimps in their advertising. And by buying only sustainably harvested lumber […]

  • What are your wishes for end of life care? Experts offer advice

    70% of Americans say they would prefer to die at home. Yet, 70% do not get their wishes. WGN’s Steve Sanders reports there is a way to have a much better chance that your wishes  are carried out, even when you can’t speak for yourself. “I got faced with it when the doctor said ain’t nothing else they can do for me.” Ta-tanisha Rush was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 26. Now at 41, the cancer is back. […]

  • 2015 Chicago Blues Fest Tribute to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon

    CHICAGO — Chicago Blues Festival starts tomorrow in Grant Park. Blues greats Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters performed at Chicago’s very first blues fest in 1969. And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, family and former band mates are converging on the city for a centennial tribute. (Harmonica solo) It’s mid-day on a Wednesday; a time many blues musicians sleep. But not today. “In my opinion, blues is the most powerful music on the planet. It’s the most universal.” Billy Branch, […]

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    Watch Steve Sanders’ interview with B.B. King in 1994

    I was fortunate enough to have done a sit down interview withB.B. King in 1994 following a Chicago-area concert. In a rare, disarming moment of candor, this world famous blues guitarist, a 15-time Grammy winner, told me he felt he was in a musical rut and confessed he could be much better musician if he’d only practice more. B.B. King told me his most unforgettable concert was performing at the Chicago Blues Festival before an audience of 300,000. B.B. King was […]

  • Former Illinois Gov. Dan Walker dies at 92

    CHICAGO — Former Illinois Gov. Dan Walker has died at age 92. He died at his home Wednesday in San Diego, where he had lived since the 1980s. He was Democrat who served a single term in Springfield, from 1973 to 1977. He had campaigned for governor by walking almost 1,200 miles, the entire length of the state. He was defeated in his bid for a second term. Walker was known as a reform politician who was chairman of a panel investigating the violent […]

  • Artist will have you smiling at Chicago potholes

    Have you ever smiled at a pothole? A former Chicago ad man turned mosaic artist, thought it would be kind of funny to fill the universally reviled potholes into something fun. 2 years ago he filled a pothole in front of his house with a mosaic featuring the Chicago flag and one word; Pothole. Since then he's created flowers, and a luscious series for this year. His work is so unique, it earned him a highly visible commission at the Nike Store on Michigan Avenue. And he's flying to Finland in May to appear as a guest artist at their end of winter festival. Smiling yet?

  • BraveHearts: Horses Saving People

    The holidays can be especially hard for people who could use professional help. But, finding the right help can be tricky. As WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, for some in Northern Illinois, it’s not so much finding the right human help, as it is finding the right horse. “There you go cowgirl,” instructs BraveHearts Director of Operations, Paddy McKevitt. On this day, he’s working with 9 year old Audrey Boyer. “I’ve been riding since I was 5.” “Every person that comes […]

  • Tragedy to Triumph: The Willis Family, 20 years after the van crash claims 6 of 9 children

    “I’m Jada, I’m Jaeger, I’m Joy, I’m Jamie, I’m Julie, I’m Jazz, I’m Jedi, I’m Jack, I’m Jet, I’m Jen, I’m Jair, I’m Jess, I’m Brenda, and I’m Toby. And we are the Willis Clan!” Two parents, twelve kids; a talented family with Irish musical roots straight from the South side of Chicago.    Toby Willis is the older brother of the six Willis children who died in a fiery van crash near Milwaukee 20 years ago this Saturday. And as […]

  • Great Chicago Fire Festival: Creative minds play with fire for new river spectacle

    Some of Chicago’s most creative minds are playing with fire this week, as they prepare for the city’s first ever Great Chicago Fire Festival.  It happens on Saturday to celebrate the grit, greatness, and renewal that followed the great Chicago fire of 1871.  And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, this flaming spectacle on the Chicago river promises to be unlike anything Chicago has ever seen. The fire festival has a budget of two million dollars, with the city pitching in […]

  • Rosie the Riveter meets the Blue Angels

    Two Chicago sisters were granted their “Wish of a Lifetime” this morning in Gary, Indiana, when they met the Blue Angels, the Navy’s elite flying team returning this weekend to the Air and Water Show.  One of the sisters was a real life “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II. And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, it’s hard to say who was more starstruck; the ladies, or the Blue Angels. The Blue Angels showered the sisters with gifts; framed and […]


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