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
  • Are Chicago Public Schools making the grade?

    CHICAGO — Are Chicago Public Schools making the grade? Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling for strong schools, regardless of neighborhood or zip code. According to an analysis by CPS, that is not the case now. Some of Chicago’s worst performing schools are in low-income neighborhoods with mainly students of color. And while only 11% of CPS students are white, almost 90 percent of them go to the top-rated schools in the city.  Read the CPS analysis or select your school […]

  • Brookfield Zoo black rhino’s surgery unsuccessful

    CHICAGO — A black rhino at Brookfield Zoo underwent surgery Tuesday that did not go well. Veterinarians performed surgery on Layla, an 8-year-old rhinoceros, to try and clear her nasal passageway. However, the surgery “didn’t take.” Last April, Layla became the first adult rhino to undergo a CT scan. Veterinarians and were trying to get a better picture of why abnormal tissue continued to grow and block her sinuses. Since then, she’s had more than 30 procedures and staged surgeries. […]

  • Fast cash with a catch: How payday loans can ruin lives

    WGN Investigates CHICAGO — For those living paycheck to paycheck — or really anyone in need of a loan to get by until that next paycheck — a short-term loan or payday loans as they are called, can seem like a life-line. However, a WGN Investigation found those businesses promising quick cash come with a big catch of crippling interest rates and hundreds of complaints with the Better Business Bureau. If you look around, there are more payday loan companies […]

  • 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 […]

  • CTFL

    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 […]

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