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
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    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. […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]

  • POSTERS

    The lost art of rock ‘n’ roll posters: 25 years of Screwball Press

    It takes a brave soul to do business with a screwball, unless that screwball is Steve Walters of Chicago. Walters is a poster artist who was inspired by the psychedelic posters of the 1960’s and led a revival of poster art in the 1990’s. As WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, 25 years of Screwball Press is reason to party. There’s a poster convention of sorts this Thursday night when artists and music lovers will join Steve in at Co prosperity sphere […]

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    Toronzo Cannon: Blues man by night, bus driver by day

    Here in the city where Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Buddy Guy electrified the blues, there’s a player on the scene who’s putting a new charge in the old sounds.   And yet this talented artist and songwriter is also just another working stiff.  WGN’s Steve Sanders introduces us to Toronzo Cannon.     Alligator Records artists like Toronzo, Shemekia Copeland, and Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials will open this years blues fest on June 10th at Grant Park. […]

  • 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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    Chicago’s Very Own Buddy Guy, a living legend

    If there’s such a sound as “authentic” Chicago blues, there’s one player, one man, one artist who still delivers that musical genre like no one else. Steve Sanders give us the story of living Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy. Plus, watch Buddy Guy and Steve Sanders rock out together: From the WGN archives, January 2012

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    Untold Vietnam Stories: The battle of Chicago ’68 told through eyes of soldier and protestor

    One of the most important battles of the Vietnam war was fought right here in Chicago. The whole world was watching when the 1968 Democratic National Convention became the battleground for the hearts and minds of America.  And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports,   those for and against the war were equally passionate.  And it all came to a head on the streets of Chicago. “When it came to Democratic Convention, everybody was drawn here,” says Dr. Dominic Pacyga  from Columbia […]

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    The untold story of when Ernie Banks went to Vietnam

    Any brush with a celebrity can create lifelong memories and good stories, especially when they happen in a war zone.  A combat medic from Wisconsin was drafted in 1968 and shipped off to Vietnam.  As WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, little did he know his war experience would include Mr. Cub himself. “I’ll be honest. I was oblivious. I was you know 19 years old, I had a nice hot Chevelle and I wanted to chase girls and drink. And I […]