Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon is the co-anchor of the WGN Evening News at Five and Six, WGN News at Nine and WGN News at Ten. Joe is a veteran newscaster with more than 30 years of experience as a main anchor.

Prior to WGN-TV, Donlon was the main anchor for KGW in Portland for over two decades. He spent nine years as an anchor and reporter at KVOA-TV (NBC) in Tucson, Arizona and began his career in Corpus Christi, Texas at KZTV-TV (CBS).

Donlon’s newscasts have been honored with numerous Emmy and AP awards. Career highlights include reporting from Kuwait following the Gulf War in 1991, covering several national political stories over the past several decades, and anchoring coverage of a number of major sporting events, including the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, and the Oregon Ducks football team in both the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2011 National Championship game in Phoenix, AZ.

Donlon hails from the Midwest, from St. Louis, Missouri. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where he also played left wing for the Marquette hockey team. He and his wife Kathy have three children.


Recent Articles
  • Little Sisters of the Poor celebrates 150 years of helping the elderly

    CHICAGO — The Little Sisters of the Poor are committed to caring for the elderly. It is their vocation, and has been for 150 years. The nuns have comforted countless seniors who spend their sunset years at St. Mary’s Home, surrounded by love. “Our mission really is to take care of the elderly and poor of any race, color, creed, and to let them know that they are loved. They are important,” Mother Superior said. “Just their stories alone, of […]

  • Both mayoral candidates made donations to Kim Foxx

    WGN Investigates CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emmanuel blasted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for dismissing the charges against Jussie Smollett. As Chicago heads toward an election of a new mayor, the candidate’s words were not so harsh. WGN Investigates took a look and found that both mayoral candidates made donations to State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Before Foxx recused herself in the Smollett case, even before she was the Foxx was the chief of staff for County Board President, Toni […]

  • Suspected Rockford gunman has extensive criminal history dating back to 1995

    WGN Investigates ROCKFORD, Ill. — The man suspected of shooting a Rockford deputy has a violent past, and extensive criminal history. Floyd Brown, 39, has an extensive criminal history going back at least to 1995 in Sangamon County. In 2011, he was convicted of residential burglary and sent to prison.  Shortly after getting out of prison, he was charged with disorderly conduct. What followed was a speeding ticket. Then an emergency order of protection, which expired last summer in July […]

  • City tears down abandoned home, but hundreds still left

    WGN Investigates CHICAGO — Tens of thousands of abandoned and vacant homes are causing huge problems in Chicago. A few weeks ago, WGN Investigates spoke to Jobe Martin. Martin lived next door to a home that was crumbling onto his own. Days after the story aired, the city responded by tearing down the broken home. Martin’s story shows the difficulties of trying to fix an overwhelming problem. The home had been purchased by an investor, who walked away when the deal […]

  • Thousands are told to relinquish their guns each year in Illinois; what happens next is up to them

    A man who killed five people in Aurora last week should never have been able to buy the gun he used in the mass shooting, and WGN Investigates finds there may be a lot of other people falling through cracks in Illinois’ gun laws. Anyone looking to own or purchase a firearm in Illinois is required to have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID). Illinois State Police said Aurora shooter Gary Martin lied on a FOID application in 2014, stating he did not have […]

  • What’s happening to thousands of abandoned Chicago houses? Homeowners hide, houses crumble

    WGN Investigates Jobe Martin remembers a different day on his street, and he remembers it well. The 67-year-old retiree has spent his entire life on Aberdeen Street in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, but many of the houses in this once bustling area are now abandoned, boarded up and falling down. Martin called WGN when the vacant home next to his started crumbling. Bricks were literally piling up in his gangway. He called the city, he tried to find the homeowner, and […]

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    Mike Madigan’s deposition in civil suit released: ‘I don’t recall’

    CHICAGO — Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is accused of putting “sham” candidates on the 2016 ballot to increase his chances of winning. Madigan won the race with 65 percent of the vote. Challenger Jason Gonzales took home 27 percent. Two others candidates had 8 percent combined. Gonzales filed a civil suit claiming Madigan recruited phony candidates with Latino-sounding last named to confuse voters and take away votes from Gonzales. The gambit increased Madigan’s chances of winning, the suit […]

  • Dramatic video shows Chicago police pull man from icy Lake Michigan

    CHICAGO — Dramatic body camera video released Monday shows Chicago officers pull a 33-year-old man from the icy waters of Lake Michigan after he jumped down a high ridge of ice to rescue his dog and became trapped Sunday afternoon. Officers from the 21st District responded to Foster Avenue Beach around 1 p.m. Sunday following reports of a person in the water. After borrowing a dog leash from a woman on the scene, they carefully made their way out onto […]

  • J.B. Pritzker sworn in as 43rd Governor of Illinois, outlines priorities in inaugural address

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — With his family by his side, billionaire J.B. Pritzker took the Oath of Office Monday to become the 43rd Governor of Illinois. After an interfaith service at First Presbyterian Church, Pritzker was sworn in during a ceremony at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield. A self-described progressive, Pritzker used his inaugural address to lay out his vision, including a balanced budget, infrastructure updates, commitments to fight climate change and an updated tax code. “In 2019, we must […]

  • Better Business Bureau warning consumers of ‘subscription traps’

    OAK PARK, Ill. — More and more people are getting ripped off by scams promising free trials and more. It’s costing millions of people billions of dollars worldwide, and it’s only getting worse. Debbie Wagner from Oak Park knew something was wrong when she started getting face cream mailed to her home that she didn’t order. A new Better Business Bureau study shows just how serious the problem is. These “free trials” and so called “subscription traps.” They’re everywhere, primarily […]

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