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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    Dean shares his favorite Fourth of July recipes

    CHICAGO — WGN’s Dean Richards is cooking up some of his favorite summer recipes ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. Special thanks to:  American Sale and Jewel-Osco Here’s what he’s making: Corn on the Cob Three Ways Grilled Taco-Barbeque Chicken Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Salad Halibut Soft Tacos Grilled Steak Lettuce Tacos Grilled Margherita Pizza Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza  Caramelized Onion & Prosciutto Pizza

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    Dean’s Reviews: ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, ‘Free State of Jones’, ‘The Shallows’

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    See Dick Van Dyke in Chicago this weekend + Dean Richards’ full interview

    Where you can see Dick Van Dyke this Sunday in the Chicago area:

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    Broadway in Chicago calendar shows dates still available for Hamilton tickets

    CHICAGO — And the dust has settled after “Hamilton” tickets went on sale in Chicago Tuesday. Over 1,000 people waited in a four-block long line around the Private Bank Theatre. Thousands more tried with a frustrating, over-stressed online ticketing system — some with better success than others. Outside the theater you could see people exchanging tickets and cash — usually a sign of ticket broker exchanges.  Within an hour, online sites were selling single tickets for as much as $10,000. Broadway […]

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    Broadway stars sing ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’

    Last week, Lin-Manuel Miranda from “Hamilton” and some of the other biggest names on Broadway got together to record a “We Are the World”-styled version of the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love” to honor and benefit victims of the tragedy in Orlando, Florida. The all-star choir includes Gloria Estefan, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes, Audra McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Tommy Tune and about 50 other big names. You can buy a copy of […]

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    Dean’s Review: ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ world premiere

    Sunday night was another Chicago world premiere in the downtown theater district: The official Pre-Broadway opening of “The SpongeBob Musical.” If you’ve only seen the animated TV show, you haven’t seen anything yet. The authorized clip that was provided to WGN by the show doesn’t even come close to letting you see what an explosion of color and creativity “The SpongeBob Musical” really is. You can see that you get living, breathing actors inspired by their TV counterparts — not a parade of humans […]

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    ‘Finding Dory’ review: ‘One of the best of the year’

    In the time since “Finding Nemo” came out in 2003, Ellen DeGeneres went through a couple of sitcoms, she came out, and became the biggest thing on daytime TV. She’s also about to become the star of what will be one of the biggest films of 2016. All of the colorful fish are back in the Disney-Pixar “Nemo” sequel, “Finding Dory.”   Ellen heads up an all-star voice cast. Some returning from the original film like Albert Brooks, and some new, […]

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    Dean’s Reviews: ‘Finding Dory’, ‘Central Intelligence’

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    Ellen DeGeneres talks rumored lesbian couple in ‘Finding Dory’

    All week, WGN’s Dean Richards has been talking with the stars of the much anticipated “Finding Dory.” Ellen DeGeneres brings back the voice of the spacey little blue fish, Dory, in what will possibly be one of the biggest movies of the year. But, much of the chatter about the film right now is of a three-second scene in the trailer featuring two women in a park — rumored to be lesbians. DeGeneres tells WGN that she heard about the […]

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    Dean shares junk sent to him by viewer in new segment called ‘Dean’s Junk’