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

    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 […]

  • 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. […]

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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 […]