Thank you, Chicago.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Forty years ago this week, fresh out of the University of Illinois College of Communications and student radio station WPGU-FM—technically, still finishing a master’s degree—I took my first job as a full-time professional journalist.
Gary Deeb’s Chicago Tribune column, Sept. 19, 1977

I signed on Aug. 15, 1977, for what would be a two-year run as news director and morning news anchor at WMRO-AM and WAUR-FM in Aurora, Ill.

It was the week Elvis Presley died and the week I learned—on the air—that “mausoleum” doesn’t rhyme with “linoleum.”

It was the start of a wonderful career blessed from start to, well, now—which I hasten to add is not the finish of my work bringing the news to Chicago-area audiences.

I was lucky to follow that assignment with a decade at WXRT-FM; almost nine years at the late WNUA-FM; a near-13-year run at the (also late) Tribune Co., including the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Interactive and WGN Radio; and a string of innovative startups: FM News, Rivet Radio and my latest baby, Chicago Public Square.

Even more rewarding than the jobs themselves has been the chance, at almost every stop—and at a few colleges and universities along the way—to work with smart and talented students and interns who would become the celebrated journalists and authors of the future.

If you’ve ever hired, been hired by or worked with me—or if you’re related to me—please accept my deepest sympathy.

If you’ve ever gotten your news from me—as a listener, reader or even occasionally as a TV viewer—please know how grateful I am for your priceless gift of attention.

And how much I look forward to more of the same.

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