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 one-on-one with Mayor Rahm Emanuel

    Summertime is the best time in Chicago. Whether it’s Lollapalooza, the NFL Draft,  James Beard Awards, the soccer All-Star game, or a nationally recognized culinary scene — there’s always been non-stop things to do, but these days,  even more. At the Four Moon Tavern in the city’s Roscoe Village this week, Mayor Rahm Emanual bellied up to the bar for a one-on-one interview with our very own Dean Richards. Watch the full interview in the video player above

  • Bonnie Tyler to perform ‘Total Eclipse’ during total eclipse

    Royal Caribbean is hosting a total eclipse cruise this Monday, August 21. Guest aboard the ship will have a pretty amazing experience to see the moon crossing the sun while at sea, but even better? Seeing it while Bonnie Tyler is singing her 1983 hit song. Tyler will be on board the cruise ship and will sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” as the moon is crossing over the sun. The ship will be positioned in the “path of totality” […]

  • See 1 film per day in theaters for $10 a month with MoviePass

    Every day, more and more people are watching their movies at home, taking a pass on travel, trouble, noisy moviegoers, and most of all, the expense. Now, a new service called “MoviePass” will try to address all of that. MoviePass is a $9.95 per month movie theater subscription service, kind of like Netflix for big screen theater-going. And it should be — the company is being run by Netflix co-founder and former Redbox executive Mitch Lowe. With the service, you […]

  • Jennifer Hudson hands out school supplies in Chicago

    Chicago’s very own Hollywood star Jennifer Hudson was in town Monday for a school supplies giveaway sponsored by her Julian D. King Foundation. WGN’s Dean Richards spoke to Jennifer and her sister Julia at the event.

  • Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead Wright visits Chicago

    CHICAGO — A “Game of Thrones” star was in Chicago this weekend. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright, better known to GOT fans as “Bran Stark,” visited the AT&T flagship store on Michigan Avenue to celebrate their partnership with HBO. The store has a replica “Iron Throne” as well as iconic props and costumes from the popular series. Before a Q&A before fans, WGN’s Dean Richards chatted with Wright.  

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘The Glass Castle,’ ‘The Nut Job 2,’ ‘Annabelle: Creation’

  • Back in 2012, Glen Campbell told WGN how he wants to be remembered – see the full interview

    CHICAGO — Back in 2012, legendary country singer Glen Campbell was in Chicago for a concert, and he and his wife Kimberly Woolen sat down for an interview with WGN entertainment critic Dean Richards. Campbell had recently revealed that he hhas Alzheimer’s, and portions of the interview aired as part of a WGN Alzheimer’s special. You can see the full interview, divided into 3 parts, in this post. Campbell, who died Tuesday at the age of 81, told Richards how he […]

  • Legendary country singer and entertainer Glen Campbell dead at 81

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — Glen Campbell, the grinning, high-pitched entertainer who had such hits as “Rhinestone Cowboy” and spanned country, pop, television and movies, has died. He was 81. Campbell’s publicist Sandy Brokaw says the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that it was in its early stages at that time. Campbell was one of the biggest stars of the late 1960s […]

  • Chris Pratt, Anna Faris announce separation

    LOS ANGELES — Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced Sunday that they are separating after eight years of marriage, sparking a wave of shock and sadness online about the demise of one of Hollywood’s most popular power couples. The actors announced their breakup on social media in a joint statement confirmed by Pratt’s publicist. “We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed,” the actors wrote. “Our son has two parents who love him very much and for […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Kidnap,’ ‘The Dark Tower,’ ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’