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
  • Emmys 2018: The complete winners list

    The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Michael Che and Colin Jost, aired Monday on NBC. The following is a list with the winners noted with an asterisk (*) and WINNER. Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series Louie Anderson,” Baskets” Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live” Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta” Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live” Henry Winkler, “Barry” *WINNER Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta” […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘The Predator’, ‘White Boy Rick’, ‘A Simple Favor’

  • Chance the Rapper dodges question about Chicago mayoral run

    CHICAGO — On the red carpet for the premiere of his feature film debut, Chance the Rapper dodged WGN’s questions about entering the Chicago mayoral race. The premiere for Chance’s pizza delivery horror movie “Slice” was held at Chicago’s Arclight Theater, and WGN Entertainment Critic Dean Richards was there to chat with Chance before it was shown. When Dean asked Chance about the possibility of running for mayor, Chance suggested that they keep their conversation about the movie “Slice.” When Dean […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘The Nun’, ‘Peppermint’

  • Gary Sinise back in Chicago, doing more good for veterans

    Actor and Chicago native Gary Sinise is back in town to take a group of veterans and high students on a field trip — they’re off to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. WGN’s Dean Richards caught up with Sinise at O’Hare Airport Wednesday.

  • Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis to headline Chicago festival Saturday

    CHICAGO — After three Grammys and more than 80 albums, jazz legend Ramsey Lewis may be ready to call it a career. But you never really stop making music when you’re one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Lewis happened upon super stardom with a crossover hit at a time when crossovers just weren’t something jazz musicians did. The surprise hit would go on to earn Lewis one of his three Grammys and cement him in history as […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘Searching’, ‘Operation Finale’, ‘Kin’

  • Dean grills up viewer requests ahead of Labor Day weekend

    WGN Entertainment Critic Dean Richards is back at the grill, cooking up some delicious dishes just in time for the Labor Day weekend. WGN viewer Phillip: “I’d like to see you grilled different types of seafood. Shrimp? Mahi-Mahi? Salmon?” Honey Mustard Salmon Mango Salsa Halibut Honey-Garlic Grilled Shrimp WGN viewer Audrey: “I love Uncle Dean’s pizzas. Can you do more?” Spinach-Feta-Chicken Sausage Pizza Gluten Free Mexican Polenta Pizza Nutella-Berry Pizza WGN viewer Dawn: “How about pork tenderloin? I can’t remember […]

  • Kanye West apologizes for saying slavery was ‘a choice’ on Chicago radio

    CHICAGO — Kanye West apologized Wednesday on a Chicago radio station for calling slavery a “choice,” and he broke down on air over an old friend. “I don’t know if I properly apologized for how that slave comment made people feel, so I want to take this moment right now to say that I’m sorry for hurting, I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment,” West told 107.5 WGCI radio in his hometown. “And […]

  • Dean’s Reviews: ‘The Happytime Murders’, ‘Juliet, Naked’, ‘The Wife’