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
  • 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 […]

  • Abandoned ‘Zombie Houses’ kill property values, but neighbors are fighting back

    WGN Investigates CHICAGO — Owning a home is considered part of the American dream, but for tens of thousands of people in the Chicago area it has become a nightmare. It’s not their home that’s the problem; it’s neighbors’ abandoned houses that sit vacant and decaying for years, lowering the surrounding property values in the process. Called “Zombie Houses,” they are often left empty while they’re stuck in a legal limbo. WGN Investigates what’s being done to bring these properties […]

  • Army veteran from Illinois defies odds after losing leg, eyesight

    HINES, Ill. — This weekend, we mark Veterans Day in the United States. It’s a day to honor those who serve our country and protect our interests around the world. There are millions of stories of sacrifice among our military members. Brian Harris is one of those stories. The Chicago native and Dolton resident served in the U.S. Army for eight years. He said what he learned during that time helped prepare him for the challenges he faces today after […]

  • How safe are Illinois elections from hackers?

    The election is just a week away and Illinois plans to bring in the National Guard to help secure the vote. Why all the concern? You only have to look back to 2016 when the election voter data base in Illinois was hacked. The big question now is how prepared are we to ensure voters that our system is secure? U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley’s job on the House Select Committee on Intelligence offers him a rare look inside the investigation […]

  • Michael, now a Category 1 hurricane, expected to strengthen

    Michael, now a Category 1 hurricane slashing Cuba, is forecast to be a “dangerous major hurricane” when it smacks the US Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. The forecast indicates Michael may be a Category 3 hurricane — with winds from 111 to 129 mph — when it strikes. “Life-threatening storm surge is possible along portions of the Florida Gulf Coast regardless of the storm’s exact track or intensity,” the center said. “Well-built framed homes may incur major […]

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