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Dean Richards

Dean Richards is WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic. His work is seen and heard on several Tribune Media-owned properties and he was cited in a New York Times front-page article as “Tribune Company’s Man of Many Hats.”

Dean joined WGN-TV as a staff announcer in 1991. In 1998, he appeared as a guest reviewer and was brought onboard as a regular contributor soon after. His interviews with national and local celebrities, reports on showbiz and reviews of the latest movies are seen on WGN’s newscasts, including “WGN Morning News” and “WGN Midday News.” He has also hosted and co-produced specials such as the award-winning “Bozo, Gar & Ray: WGN TV Classics,” the Oscar preview special “The Envelope Please,” “Stories of Hope: Facing Breast Cancer,” “Unforgettable: Living with Alzheimer’s” and “Chicago’s Summer Blast.” Dean has also contributed to national cable channel WGN America, classic TV network Antenna TV, the Chicago Tribune and RedEye. In 2016, he was inducted into the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle, and in 2017, he was honored with the Chicago International Television Festival’s Chicago Award.

On WGN Radio (720 AM), “Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” covers Chicago’s entertainment and lifestyle scene including movies, theater, food and dining, Sundays from 9am-1pm. Dean’s entertainment reports and reviews can also be heard on “The Steve Cochran Show” weekdays at 8:10am and “The Bill & Wendy Show” Thursdays at 11:35am. Since joining WGN Radio in 1994, he has won over 30 local and national awards for programming and production, including the Peter Lisagor Award for Outstanding Journalism, the Associated Press Best Feature of the Year, the Illinois Broadcasters Association, UPI, Chicago A.I.R. Awards, and Promax International Promotion and Marketing Awards. In 2016, Dean was enshrined with a bronze plaque on The WGN Radio Walk of Fame, which honors the station’s legendary talent, outside its Tribune Tower showcase studio on Michigan Avenue.

Dean’s annual radio and television specials on the fight against breast cancer have also garnered many national and local awards and citations from breast cancer organizations, including the “Y-ME” National Breast Cancer Organization’s “Outstanding Media” Award, for their contributions to the fight against the disease.

On and off the air, Dean has been a tireless worker related to HIV/AIDS issues, hosting charitable functions for decades including “AIDS Run & Walk Chicago” and “Dance for Life Chicago.” He has lent support to numerous organizations including Howard Brown Health Center, Horizons Community Services (now Center on Halsted), Open Hand Chicago, and was awarded a citation by Stop AIDS Chicago for his contributions to the fight against AIDS. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago also recognized him in their annual “Faces of AIDS” publication for bringing HIV/AIDS issues to mainstream media and, in 2006, cited him with a special commendation for his work in the field.

For over 25 years, Dean was part of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, many of those years as the telethon’s co-host on WGN-TV. He has also hosted numerous events for hunger, homeless, and domestic violence organizations.

A native of Chicago, Dean worked his way through a string of suburban Chicago radio stations after completing his Broadcast Communications/Marketing degree at Columbia College. A veteran of the Chicago’s broadcasting scene since 1975, he has worked at WNUA, WCLR, WIND, WCFL, WFYR, WPWR and WFLD. He also hosted a nationally-syndicated morning radio program for the ABC Radio Network, while also acting as its Operations Manager.

Recent Articles
  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Marshall’, ‘The Foreigner’, ‘Happy Death Day’

  • Blue Man Group celebrates 20 years in Chicago

    CHICAGO — In the early ’90s few people had ever heard of the Blue Man Group, much less seen their live shows. Now, they’re known all over the world and they’re celebrating two decades in Chicago. WGN-TV Entertainment reporter Dean Richards reminds us why Blue Man Group never gets old. Their exact Chicago anniversary is Thursday, October 12, and they’re celebrating with a special birthday show at 8 p.m. filled with surprises. Blue Man Group was purchased this summer by […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘The Mountain Between Us’, ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’

  • Coldplay performs Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ in touching tribute to rock legend

    PORTLAND, Or. — Coldplay paid tribute to legendary rocker Tom Petty by performing one of his classics. Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California. On Monday during a tour stop in Portland, Coldplay started the show with a moment of silence for the victims of the mass concert shooting in Las Vegas. Following the moment of silence, R.E.M’s Peter Buck joined the band […]

  • Kathy Bates on Las Vegas attack, cancer battles — full interview with Dean Richards

    CHICAGO — Oscar winner and two-time cancer survivor Kathy Bates was in Chicago Monday to speak at the 32nd annual Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation Luncheon at the Hilton Hotel. WGN’s Dean Richards sat down with Bates before the event — they discussed the Las Vegas attack, her own cancer battles and her best memories from making “Misery.” Watch the full interview in the player above.

  • Tom Petty dead at 66, manager confirms

    LOS ANGELES – Rocker Tom Petty died Monday after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, Petty’s manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed to CNN. He was 66. The singer was found unconscious in his Malibu home on Sunday night, authorities said. Petty was transported to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital where he was reportedly placed on life support. According to his manager, he died peacefully Monday at 8:40 p.m. PT “surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.” His manager released the following […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘American made,’ ‘Victoria & Abdul,’ ‘Flatliners’

  • Former playmate Candace Jordan remembers Hugh Hefner’s legacy

    LOS ANGELES — As news of Hugh Hefner’s death spread, the women featured in his Playboy magazine paid tribute to the man who helped launch their careers. Hefner died of natural causes Wednesday at his Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills. He was 91. He started the men’s magazine in 1953 and built it into a multimillion-dollar empire that included TV shows and Playboy Clubs, the latter featuring cocktail waitresses dressed in bunny ears and fuzzy tails. Over the years, Hefner introduced the world to a bevy […]

  • Hugh Hefner, legendary founder of ‘Playboy’ magazine, dead at 91

    CHICAGO — Hugh Hefner — the silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy men’s magazine popularized the term “centerfold,” glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s — has died, his company said late Wednesday. He was 91. Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with $600 of his own money and built the magazine into a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire that at its 1970s peak included TV shows, a jazz festival and a string of Playboy Clubs whose cocktail waitresses […]

  • Justin Timberlake ‘finalizing’ Super Bowl Half Time Show deal: report

    Thirteen years ago, he was part of the famous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl Half Time Show. Now, Justin Timberlake may be returning to headline the show. According to US Weekly, the 10-time Grammy winner — who’s currently working on his fifth solo album — has been asked to take the stage at the NFL championship in Minneapolis on February 4. The report says that Timberlake ‘is finalizing’ a deal that could include a collaboration with Jay-Z. […]