Dean Richards is WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic. His work is also seen and heard on several Nexstar Media Group properties around the country. He was cited in a New York Times front-page article as the 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,” as well as Nexstar Media Group stations in additional markets. 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,” “Chicago’s Summer Blast,” “Family Classics” and “Bozo’s Circus: The 1960s.” 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 Monday through Friday on “The Steve Cochran Morning Show” from 8:10 -8:30am 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 inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame, which pays tribute to the station’s legendary talent.

For over 2 decades, Dean’s radio and television specials on the fight against breast cancer have garnered many national and local awards and citations from breast cancer organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer organization, the Lynn Sage breast Cancer Center and the “Y-ME” National Breast Cancer Organization, for contributions to the fight 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; for many of those years serving 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
  • Grammy winners 2020: The complete list

    The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards were presented Sunday in Los Angeles. A list of winners in many of the major categories follows below. The complete list of more than 80 categories can be found on Record of the Year “Hey, Ma,” Bon Iver “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish *WINNER “7 Rings,” Ariana Grande “Hard Place,” H.E.R. “Talk,” Khalid “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo “Sunflower,” Post Malone & Swae Lee Album of the year “I,I”- […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Bad Boys for Life,’ “Dolittle’

  • Will Smith, Martin Lawrence talk chemistry, stunt work at ‘Bad Boys for Life’ premiere

    LOS ANGELES—  Will Smith and Martin Lawrence spoke to WGN Entertainment Critic Dean Richards while at the Los Angeles premiere for “Bad Boys for Life.” The film is the third installment of the “Bad Boys” series, with the first film having been released in 1995. Smith and Lawrence discussed how their chemistry as co-stars, as well as their ability as action stars, have progressed throughout the franchise. Also at the premiere were actors Joe Pantoliano, who plays Captain Conrad Howard […]

  • Snubbed! Films in 2019 that should have been Oscar-nominated

      There were a few surprises when the Oscar nominations were announced on Monday. While some were showered with nominations, others were overlooked entirely. WGN Entertainment Critic Dean Richards has a few recommendations of films that should have been recognized by The Academy.  

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Like A Boss’, ‘Just Mercy’, ‘1917’

  • ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ pokes fun of legal weed sales in Illinois with ‘Pottillo’s’ sketch

    Second City alum Stephen Colbert paid tribute to the new marijuana laws in Illinois and Chicago Tuesday night. The episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” opened with an 80-second sketch featuring a sales pitch from “Fat Al” and “South Side Donnie.” With thick Chicago accents, the two promoted their “stoner special” at their new joint, Pottillo’s. The restaurant’s jingle goes, “For Chicago-style wacky tobaccy, come to Pottillo’s on South Pulaski.” Marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. […]

  • Fan tribute to WGN’s Dean Richards titled ‘Dean’

  • ‘Hamilton’ star Miguel Cervantes ready to bring some ‘Chicago fire’ to Broadway

    CHICAGO — The applause was deafening as the curtain fell on “Hamilton” for the last time in Chicago Sunday night at the CIBC  Theatre downtown. At the center of the cast taking its final bow was star Miguel Cervantes, who played Alexander Hamilton throughout the show’s run in Chicago and will now take over the role on Broadway. “I get to take a little bit of our Chicago fire and move it over to New York, and be able to […]

  • Golden Globe winners 2020: See the full list

    The 77th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in television and film, were presented Sunday. The full list of winners follows below. Television: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) Bill Hader (“Barry”) Ben Platt (“The Politician”) Paul Rudd (“Living with Yourself”) Ramy Youssef (“Ramy“) – WINNER Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. […]

  • ‘1917’ director Sam Mendes on how film was made as one continuous flowing shot

    The director and actors of “1917” sat down with WGN’s Dean Richards to talk about the film.

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