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.