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 entertainment reports and reviews are seen on “WGN Morning News,” “WGN Midday News,” “WGN Evening News” and “WGN News at Nine,” where he interviews national and local celebrities, reports on showbiz and reviews the latest movies. 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” and “Stories of Hope: Facing Breast Cancer.” Dean has also contributed to national cable channel WGN America, classic TV network Antenna TV, and Tribune Publishing’s Chicago Tribune and RedEye. On May 20, 2016, he was inducted into the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle.
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 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. On May 27, 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
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    Actress and transgender activist Alexis Arquette dies at 47

    Alexis Arquette, an actress and transgender activist, died Sunday while surrounded by members of Hollywood’s famous Arquette family. Arquette was 47. Brother Richmond Arquette and brother-in-law Todd Morgan confirmed the death to CNN. Arquette was best known for film roles, including one in “The Wedding Singer” and another in “Pulp Fiction.” Born Robert, Arquette was the sibling of actors Rosanna, David and Patricia Arquette. A 2007 film about her transition to becoming a woman, “Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother,” was […]

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    Dean’s Reviews: ‘Sully’, ‘When the Bough Breaks’, ‘Max Rose’

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    Clint Eastwood discusses ‘Sully’ in rare one-on-one interview

    Clint Eastwood sat down with Dean Richards for a rare one-on-one interview about “Sully,” including why he cast Tom Hanks as the famous pilot and how his latest film differs from any he’s done before.

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    Dean’s Reviews: “The Hollars”

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    Gene Wilder’s ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Blazing Saddles’ in theaters this weekend

    CHICAGO — Two of Gene Wilder’s most regarded films are headed back to theaters this weekend following the actor’s death this week. AMC Theaters is leading the charge with screenings of two of Wilder’s films — “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Blazing Saddles” — at 55 locations nationwide on Saturday and Sunday. The participating locations include the AMC Theater River East 21 in downtown Chicago and the AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20 in Schaumburg. Tickets, which are going […]

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    Dean Richards shares delicious Labor Day grilling recipes

    WGN’s Dean Richards grilled outside on our patio all morning long and shared amazing tips and recipes to try this Labor Day weekend. Special thanks to:  American Sale and Jewel-Osco Pulled Pork Tenderloin/Chicken Recipe: Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms  Recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Recipe: Wisconsin Brat Pizza Recipe:

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    Willy Wonka corn maze an amazing tribute to Gene Wilder

    Tributes to Gene Wilder, who died this past Sunday, are all over social media, but someone in England took it a step further. York Maze in England shared a Facebook photo of their corn maze featuring a design of Wilder in his iconic role as Willy Wonka. They actually cut the design back in July and it lasts until Sept. 5. “We are so sad to hear of the passing of Gene Wilder, the original and only Willy Wonka,” the post reads. “You will […]

  • American actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory', directed by Mel Stuart, 1971. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    ‘Willy Wonka’ star Gene Wilder dead at 83

    Gene Wilder, who brought a wild-eyed desperation to a series of memorable and iconic comedy roles in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, his lawyer, Eric Weissmann, said. He was 83. Wilder is best known for his collaborations with director Mel Brooks, starring as the stressed-out Leo Bloom in Brooks’ breakout 1967 film “The Producers,” and later in the monster movie spoof “Young Frankenstein.” He also portrayed a boozing gunslinger in “Blazing Saddles.” For many people, Wilder might be best […]

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    Dean’s Reviews: ‘Southside With You’, ‘Mechanic Resurrection’, ‘Don’t Breathe’

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    ‘Southside With You’ premiere in Chicago, interview with movie exec. producer John Legend

    CHICAGO — Thursday night at the Music Box Theater, it was the premiere of a new movie about a Chicago romance that the whole world now knows. The movie is called “Southside With You,”  the story of the first date between a young Chicago law student and community activist, Barack Obama and his supervisor, then, Michelle Robinson.  A sweet, thoughtful story that gave the world, one of its most dynamic power couples. Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter star as the now […]