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: ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising,’ ‘Midnight Sun,’ ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’

  • Lollapalooza 2018 official lineup revealed

    CHICAGO — Lollapalooza has released the official lineup for this summer’s music festival. Headliners include The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys. Other performers announced are Travis Scott, Vampire Weekend, Khalid, Tyler, the Creator, LL Cool J, Camila Cabello and Lil Pump — among many others. CLICK HERE FOR FULL LOLLAPALOOZA LINEUP HERE Four-day general admission tickets are now on sale. The passes cost $335, plus taxes and fees through Single-day tickets are not for sale yet. Those tickets are […]

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    Lollapalooza 4-day passes go on sale

    CHICAGO — The first wave of tickets for Lollapalooza 2018 are on sale. Four-day general admission tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. The passes cost $335, plus taxes and fees through The four-day Lollapalooza Festival will run this year from August 2-5 in Chicago’s Grant Park. Single-day tickets are not for sale today. Those tickets are “coming soon,” according to the official Lollapalooza website. The official lineup has not yet been revealed, but rumored headliners this year include Cardi B, Jack White, Khalid, […]

  • LISTEN: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new ‘Hamildrops’ collab with Ben Platt

    Two of Broadway’s biggest names recorded a song together with proceeds going to the “March For Our Lives” event in Washington DC. The song is a collaboration of Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Dear Evan Hansen” Tony Award-winner, Ben Platt — who posted a picture on Instagram of the two recording the song, “Found/Tonight.” On Instagram, Platt said, “Honored to team up with Lin Manuel Miranda on “Found/Tonight,” a gorgeous mashup of @hamiltonmusicaland @DearEvanHansen arranged by the great @alacamoire. Proceeds go to the incredible #MarchForOurLives Initiative, […]

  • Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during Florida show

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Cirque du Soleil performer died Saturday night after he fell during a performance in Tampa, Florida. The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group said in a statement that Yann Arnaud, an aerialist, was performing during the company’s show “VOLTA” when he plummeted to the stage. Arnaud received medical attention and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died. “The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy,” said Daniel Lamarre, […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Tomb Raider,’ ‘Love, Simon’

    WGN Entertainment Critic Dean Richards reviews movies coming out this weekend.

  • Newly discovered video shows ‘Benji’ the dog meeting Bozo at WGN

    CHICAGO — Starting this Friday, March 16th, the 1970s and ’80s star “Benji” is receiving a reboot on Netflix with a new movie. Benji is a rescue dog that some of us grew up watching. At one time, Benji was considered America’s  favorite pooch. Also, WGN has just discovered film footage of Bozo the Clown and the canine. The footage was shot at the WGN-TV Studios during a live broadcast of “Bozo’s Circus,” while Benji was on a publicity tour for […]

  • Ravinia Festival announces 2018 lineup

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. –Ravinia has announced its lineup for the 2018 summer season. The festival will run from June 1 through September 16 this year and will feature more than 140 performers and special events. Some highlights this year include Roger Daltrey, Bryan Adams, Anita Baker, Culture Club with Boy George, The Beach Boys, 50 Cent, Diana Ross, Earth, Wind & Fire and Tony Bennett. President and CEO of Ravinia Welz Kaufman joined WGN Morning News Wednesday to reveal this […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ ‘Gringo,’ ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’

  • Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones performs LIVE!

    Check it out: Darryl Jones Project feat. Nicholas Tremulis Friday, March 9 Park West 322 W. Armitage Ave