WGN Radio to induct ten honorees into Walk of Fame
Ceremony and broadcast on Thursday, May 25 at Tribune Tower
CHICAGO (March 29, 2017) – WGN Radio announced the ten honorees in the 2017 Walk of Fame class this morning during the Steve Cochran Show. They will be honored with a ceremony and live broadcast from 10am to Noon on Thursday, May 25 at the Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue.
“This year’s class celebrates three sports legends, our most renowned traffic reporters, a tenacious story chaser, and two present-day stars,” said WGN Radio Vice President of Programming & Content Todd Manley.
The 2017 Walk of Fame class is: Leonard Baldy, Lou Boudreau, Nick Digilio, Vince Lloyd, Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis, Anne Maxfield, Judy Pielach, Jack Rosenberg and Larry Schreiner. Their names will be commemorated in bronze plaques placed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio.
2017 WALK OF FAME INDUCTEE BIOS
November 28, 1958 was a day for the history books when Chicago Police Officer Leonard Frank Baldy became the first “Flying Officer” and gave the first report on rush-hour congestion from a helicopter for the Wally Phillips Show. Just one week after the trafficopter’s launch, a tragic fire broke out at Our Lady of the Angels School. Flying overhead, Baldy helped emergency crews navigate through the streets to get to the school and the local hospitals, later receiving a public service award from the NTSB for his efforts. Officer Baldy’s advice on choosing alternate routes became one of his trademarks, as well as his community service messages like “Under inflated tires and wet roads are not a good mix. Check your tire pressure tonight, so you can avoid an accident tomorrow.” Baldy’s comical look at Chicago’s traffic problems made him a household name; at one point, he received nearly 3,000 pieces of fan mail every month. Leonard Baldy and his pilot died in a helicopter crash on May 2, 1960.
Ballplayer and baseball manager turned broadcaster, Lou Boudreau realized his childhood dream as Chicago Cubs radio announcer from 1958 to 1987, including one season as Cubs manager. As a broadcaster, Boudreau worked with Jack Brickhouse, Jack Quinlan and Vince Lloyd. It was with Lloyd that the two reached heights of popularity among listeners with their authentic folksy style. “Good Kid” Boudreau was beloved for his personality and tremendous knowledge of baseball. His pronunciations were never exactly right, so he often referred to a player as a “fine gentleman” or “fine ballplayer.” In the broadcast booth, Boudreau would ring a cow bell to celebrate home runs and other exciting moments happening on the field, coupled with his trademark calls “No doubt about it!” and “Kiss it goodbye!” Boudreau died in 2001.
A native Chicagoan with a loyal, cult following, Nick Digilio has worked his entire media career with WGN Radio. A huge fan of Roy Leonard, Digilio began calling in to Leonard’s show when he was 15 years old. In 1985, Leonard gave him a regular slot to review movies which led to Digilio becoming Roy’s co-host on his Saturday morning movie review segment. Digilio also became a regular film critic on The Steve King and Johnnie Putman Show. With a reputation as “the guy who likes bad movies,” Digilio often hates big blockbusters, but loves oddball films. In 2013, after 28 years as a contributor, weekend and fill-in host, Digilio got his own full-time show where he features pop culture, current events and highlights everything and anything Chicago. Podcasts of The Nick Digilio Show, heard Mondays through Fridays from 2am to 5am, are WGN Radio’s most downloaded.
Trooper Linc was a key player on the Spike O’Dell Radio Experiment. “Experiment” being Spike’s term for the spontaneously playful vibe of the show that prominently featured ‘Linc’ in memorable features like “Lincoln and The Law”. Linc reported live from the famously giant WGN traffic map that outlined the heaviest delays with red lights decades before digital displays on mobile devices. His smooth voice soothed millions of frustrated commuters during the mid-1980s through the late 1990s.
As sports announcer on WGN TV and radio from 1949 to 1987, Vince Lloyd was respected for his versatility in the broadcast booth. Lloyd worked with Jack Brickhouse on Chicago Cubs and White Sox telecasts, covered DePaul basketball, pro-wrestling, Chicago Bears and Big Ten football and was the voice of the Chicago Bulls for eight years. However, Lloyd, referred to as “The Voice of Summer” and “The Voice for All Seasons”, is best known for 23 years of Chicago Cubs radio broadcasts with Lou Boudreau. Lloyd’s deep distinctive baritone gave vivid play descriptions that were always straightforward, concise and grammatically correct. “Holy mackerel!” was Lloyd’s signature home run call. Career highlights included his 1961 interview with President John F. Kennedy, the first time a president was interviewed on live TV at a baseball game, and broadcasting Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965. Vince Lloyd died on July 3, 2003.
An airborne traffic reporter for most of his 25 years on the air at WGN Radio, Mike often flew in both morning and afternoon drive. He delivered award-winning news coverage in 1990 while covering the shooting of two deputies in Lake County. His descriptions from the air provided location details that led to their rescue. Mathis joined the Wally Phillips Show in 1983 and was a key voice from WGN’s Traffic Central until 2008. His infectious laugh was a memorable part of the Kathy & Judy Show middays.
A prominent and outspoken voice in morning and afternoon drive from 1992 through 2004, Anne Maxfield originally joined WGN Radio as part of the Bob Collins Show, reporting live from Traffic Central in the Showcase Studio. Most WGN Radio listeners recall her as Spike O’Dell’s foil in PM drive. A Chicago native well-versed in sports and an avid concert goer, Anne was what many called an elegant tomboy on the radio. She credits her time on the Collins show as the place where she gained tremendous confidence as a performer. “Bob was someone you could always learn from,” she says. “He was the No. 1 radio guy in Chicago at the time. An excellent interviewer, he could make a bit out of anything and taught me how to think on my feet and try to make great radio immediately.”
Award-winning news managing editor and “Good Buy Girl” Judy Pielach has been on the air at WGN Radio since 1986 and has been a mentor to many in the newsroom. Pielach has covered everything from shootings to plane crashes to Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial. Judy won her first Edward R. Murrow Regional Award in 2007 for “Smack in the Suburbs,” a series on heroin use among suburban teens. A breast cancer survivor, Pielach’s series Why Not Me? chronicled her battle with cancer and won her another Murrow Regional Award. Judy currently anchors the afternoon drive news on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes weekly from 3pm to 7pm.
In a career that spanned 40 years at WGN, Jack “Rosey” Rosenberg worked with the legendary sports voices of Jack Brickhouse, Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, Jack Quinlan and Irv Kupcinet. While his voice was rarely heard on air, Rosenberg was a key member of the WGN sports department from 1954 to 1994 as a producer, news writer and sports editor. Much of Rosenberg’s career was connected to Brickhouse’s. Rosey held the power of the pen, creating the content and writing many of Jack Brickhouse’s storylines. A walking encyclopedia of Chicago sport teams and how WGN covered them, Rosenberg was a trailblazer, inventing sports production every step of the way. One of Rosenberg’s greatest career coups was orchestrating interviews with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan in 1961 and 1981, respectively. Rosenberg said, “This was not just an ordinary job…It was the feeling we had of being part of history…”
Legendary crime reporter Larry Schreiner was a CPD officer for 20 years turned freelance TV and newspaper photographer to WGN street reporter. His first interview on the station was with a man attempting to climb the Sears Tower on May 1, 1978 and carried live on The Wally Phillips Show. Schreiner scooped the John Wayne Gacy serial killings and covered every major news breaking story in the area including the Palatine murders, death of Mayor Harold Washington and the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 at O’Hare. Bob Collins called him “the best on-the-scene reporter the world has ever seen.” Always on the street and ready to catch the next story, Schreiner was also known for his “Schreinerisms” – words like “worser” he’d make up when reporting on breaking news. Of himself and his work, Schreiner said, “Even though the majority of my stories are not pleasant, I have tried to do them all with class and dignity….I want you [the listener] to feel as though you are with me on the streets and in the alleys. Stick around. I don’t want you to miss a thing. Take care and please be safe.” Larry Schreiner died in June 2014.