Steve Sanders
  • Follow me on:

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
  • 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 […]

  • Millennium Park turns 10: Here are 5 things you never knew about it

    Ten years ago tonight, Chicago officially opened Millennium Park, a 24.5 acre section of North Grant Park between the Lake and Michigan Avenue. Today, it’s hard to find people who are not family with “The Bean”, the Crown Fountain, and Frank Gehry’s Pritzker Pavilion.  But, WGN’s Steve Sanders found there’s more to Millennium Park than meets the eye. “Watch out for this one little step here. So we’re at the highest elevation in Pritzker metal ribbons that you can be.” […]

  • Rummage Sale Gold for Good Causes

    Most rummage sales don’t include Louis Vuitton handbags, Chanel jackets, or tuxedos.        For decades, many churches on Chicago’s North shore have been donating expensive items to raise money for worthy causes. WGN’s Steve Sanders gives us a preview of one of the sales this weekend at Kenilworth Union Church. For eight weeks every summer, volunteers at Kenilworth Union Church collect donations for their rummage sale. They just never know what will come in. “Very classic Chanel. So, I would […]

  • Saving the Honey Bees

    The honey bee population worldwide is in crisis. And this winter’s polar vortex killed far more honey bees than usual in the Chicago area. But as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, there are many passionate people who sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to save honey bees. ”So this up here is where they were getting in.” This time last year, Bob Kusel and his wife were sharing their bedroom in north suburban Skokie with thousands of honeybees. ”And I kept hearing […]

  • colored

    Historic 1964 Civil Rights Law turns 50

    July 2, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the landmark civil rights act, intended to virtually eliminate almost all forms of discrimination.The battle for civil rights was long and bloody. WGN’S Steve Sanders looks at the Chicago events and people who sparked history making change, more than a half century ago. “This was the first day of the sit-in January 2, 1962,” says Chicago genealogist and author Tony Burroughs. “This history has been buried for 50 years.” […]

  • Making a pension back-up plan

    Making a pension back-up plan

    Nearly half of all Americans now say they’re worried they’ll outlive their money, or won’t be able to save enough to ever retire. Whether you work in the public or private sectors, WGN’s Steve Sanders reports one thing is clear; the retirement landscape is changing. Adriana Caballero is a former social worker turned bi-lingual education teacher at Piper Elementary in Berwyn. And with pension reform in Illinois, her career change has left her feeling far less secure. “The uncertainty is […]

  • Watts of Love: Local group bringing light to typhoon-ravaged Philippines

    It’s been almost six weeks since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippine Islands.  For those who survived, restoring electricity and rebuilding will take years.  But, as Steve Sanders reports, there’s a Chicago area group bringing light to one of the darkest places on earth. “I’m handing out these lights and telling the stories of how it helps people.” Kevin Kuster’s calling to the Philippines comes by way of Playboy Magazine.  He was a senior photo editor there for almost two decades. […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,048 other followers