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
  • Evil Elsa? ‘Frozen’ producer reveals film’s original ending

    Disney’s animated phenomenon, “Frozen,” may not have been a heartwarming tale of sisterly love if its creators stuck to the film’s original planned ending. “Frozen” producer Peter Del Vecho tells Entertainment Weekly the original version of the film was more in line with the Hans Christian Andersen tale on which it’s based. Del Vecho says princess sisters Anna and Elsa weren’t related in early scripts. He says “Elsa was a self-proclaimed Snow Queen, but she was a villain and pure […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Life’, ‘CHiPs’, ‘T2 Trainspotting’

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Beauty and the Beast’

    Is this live-action remake of a Disney classic worthy of the hype? Dean says yes!

  • Ravinia Festival announces 2017 lineup

    HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. –Ravinia has announced its lineup for the summer 2017 season today. The festival will run from June 3 through September 17 this year and will feature more than 140 performers and special events. Some highlights this year include John Legend, Common, Sheryl Crow, Fitz and The Tantrums, Tony Bennett, Darius Rucker, John Mellencamp, Stevie Nicks, Gladys Knight and more President and CEO of Ravinia Welz Kaufman will join WGN Morning News today to reveal this season’s best […]

  • ‘Beauty And The Beast’ composer uses his piano to show how movie’s hits came to life

    The 1991 Disney original “Beauty and the Beast” has some of the most familiar songs ever written for a motion picture. WGN’s Dean Richards was in LA recently and sat down with legendary composer Alan Menken. In the interview, Menken shared with Dean how four of the most popular songs from the Disney classic came to life — with the help of his piano. Watch the full interview in the player above  

  • WGN’s Dean Richards responds to gay character controversy in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

    By, Dean Richards Over the weekend, there were several stories of a so-called “gay” moment in the live action remake of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The boycott by one theater in Alabama, and possibly one in Russia, have been from people who have not seen the film. Well, I have seen it. First and foremost, there is nothing sexual, nothing explicit, nor nothing that suggests any romantic relationship between anyone — except “Beauty” and the “Beast” in this movie. […]

  • Watch ‘Chips’ stars Dax Shepard, Michael Pena take Chicago police fitness test

    You know Dax Shepherd from “Parenthood” and Michael Pena from the Oscar-nominated movie “The Martian.” Now, they are teaming up for a movie remake of the popular 1970s TV series “Chips.” Since they star as cops in the film, WGN asked Chicago police to put them to the test. They pretty clearly “aced” it, but we don’t think people who normally apply to be an officer get to use a Go Kart for the running portion… Watch the hilarity unfold […]

  • ‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture Oscar after ‘La La Land’ mix-up

    LOS ANGELES — Director Barry Jenkins said he was “speechless” after his movie “Moonlight” was announced as the winner of best picture on Sunday night, following an unprecedented moment in Oscars history. And he wasn’t the only one. “Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time?” Emma Stone asked backstage. “We made history tonight.” But what exactly happened that led to that now-infamous moment where “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as best picture at the Academy Awards? Here’s […]

  • Dean’s 2017 Oscar predictions

  • Dean’s Review: ‘Get Out’