Dean Richards is WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic. His work is seen and heard on several Tribune-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 entertainment reports and reviews are seen on “WGN Morning News,” “WGN Midday News,” “WGN News at Five” and “WGN News at Nine,” where he interviews national and local celebrities, reports on showbiz, and reviews the latest movies. 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” and “Stories of Hope: Facing Breast Cancer.”
On WGN Radio (720AM), “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 can also be heard on “The Steve Cochran Show” weekdays at 8:20am and his movie reviews can be heard on “The Garry Meier Show” Thursdays at 5:10pm. Since joining WGN Radio in 1994, he has won over 30 local and national awards for programming and production, including the prestigious 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.
Since 1996, 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 “Dance for Life Chicago” and “AIDS Run & Walk Chicago.” He has lent support to numerous organizations including Howard Brown Health Center, Horizons Community Center, and 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.
Dean 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 radio scene since 1975, he has worked at WNUA, WCLR, WIND, WCFL and WFYR. He also hosted a nationally-syndicated morning radio program for the ABC Radio Network, while also acting as its Operations Manager.