Rich Koz is an American actor and broadcaster best known for hosting the horror film Svengoolie and his early '90s children's animated show, The Koz Zone. In costume, he is also the host of The Three Stooges Stooge-a-Palooza synthesis.
Chicago-area TV show host who is known by his horror movie hosting alter-ego Svengoolie. He has also broadcast for WCIU Chicago as host of The Three Stooges centric program Stooge-a-Palooza.
He graduated from Northwestern University's communications program. He first created the Svengoolie character while a student there.
He has won numerous local Emmy® Awards for his work in the Chicagoland area TV market.
"My first job in the business in 1961 - I was in college. I got a job at an FM station and I was awful, but they couldn't fire me because I wasn't making any money," Frank said. Eventually, Channel 12 WISN-TV in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin hired the Marquette graduate. So good was he, that a very short time later Channel 7 made an offer.
"I was scared. I really was. I still remember coming across the Ohio Street ramp coming from Milwaukee. The Channel 7 tower was on top of Marina City and the Circle 7 light was going around and the lights going up and down. And I thought, 'What am I getting into? Are the viewers here going to like my stories?' I had no idea," he said.
Frank started out as a writer and general assignment reporter three times a week. "Not long after I got here, I got here on the 3rd of April and on April 21st was the Oak Lawn tornado. Thirty-seven people killed, hundreds injured. That was my first real serious, serious assignment," he explained. But management began seeing his creativity with feature stories and a willingness to go the distance even when a camera guy fails you.
"The wrestling bear story. So, the bear comes after me and mauls me and knocks me down breathing bear breath on me. And I look up and Harry is standing there with the camera laughing. I say, 'Harry, what are you doing?' 'I was laughing too hard I couldn't keep shooting.' So I had to do it again," Frank said. And again and again he made us smile, laugh, tear up and discover heart in the everyday life of Chicagoland.
"I try to think I can go out on any story and make something of it," he said. "That's our job to make something from nothing." Frank Mathie's video adventure is now a wrap. But while you can take a reporter out of storytelling, but you can't take storytelling out of this reporter. I'm sure when I watch the news, I'll be thinking, 'Oh, I wish I could have done that one. That one looked really fun!'" he said.
Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist, appears weekdays on WGN Evening News from 5-7pm, WGN News at Nine and WGN News at Ten. He celebrates his 40th anniversary with WGN-TV in August 2018.
Starting his successful career at the unheard-of age of 14, Tom was hired by WKKD in Aurora, IL, while attending West Aurora High School. He joined WLXT-TV three years later, while going to school during the day.
In 1970, Tom moved to Madison, WI to study meteorology and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while continuing to work in radio and television. Tom’s first television job was at age 18 in Aurora, IL, at WLXT-Channel 60. Then on to WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate) and WTSO radio in Madison, WI before going to work for WITI-TV, Milwaukee from 1975-1978, where he was rated the city’s #1 meteorologist.
Tom joined WGN-TV on August 13, 1978. Since then, he has established himself as a respected meteorologist both locally and nationally, known for his in-depth reports, enthusiasm, and use of state-of-the-art technology. For over 30 years, Skilling was chief meteorologist on WGN Midday News as well as later newscasts. Tom Skilling has been awarded with three honorary doctorates from Lewis University, St. Mary’s of Minnesota and Aurora University.
In early 2004, Tom helped coordinate the Tribune Weather Center, which combines the meteorology resources and expertise of WGN-TV, CLTV and the Chicago Tribune in one location. Since 1997, Skilling has been a driving force behind the Chicago Tribune’s weather page. Another element in the column is “Ask Tom Why,” in which Tom takes viewers’ questions and answers the “why” behind the weather. In October 2008, Tom and the Weather Center started providing weather reports to WGN Radio. He has also received an immense response for WGNtv.com weather blog.
Over the past 38 years, Tom Skilling hosted a Tornado and Severe Storms Seminar at Fermilab. As host of the event, Skilling welcomed the ‘who’s who’ in the severe weather research and forecast community, including famed University of Chicago tornado researcher Dr. Ted Fujita. The Fermilab programs have been attended by thousands over the years and have been streamed to even larger audiences online.
This year, Tom is speaking at numerous events throughout the Chicagoland area discussing climate change. So far this year he has hosted a talk to 200 area science teachers in Downers Grove, participated in a climate conference in Naperville, headed out to Palatine to address an Energy Expo sponsored by the Sierra Club, and has worked with the Mayor’s office several times. He emceed a conference of local mayors from across the Chicagoland community who are addressing climate change, as well as an awards event for mayors recognizing environment efforts in member cities (mayors and their representatives for the world’s 40 biggest cities which included the mayors of Paris and Mexico City and the Deputy Mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC). Finally, this June, Tom will be awarded the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) as their “2018 Broadcast Pioneer” honoree. From recording a podcast with Mayor Emmanuel about climate change to emceeing several events, Tom has maintained a very busy schedule.
Tom Weinberg’s career began in print journalism, before he went on to become a pioneering TV documentary and nonfiction producer. He has achieved national acclaim for the more than 500 programs he has produced. That includes five Chicago/Midwest Emmy® Awards for those programs and series.
Weinberg was a pioneer in independent video in the 1970s with TVTV. He further pioneered the use of archival materials in education, teaching video and documentary courses at Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University Chicago. He graduated from the University of Michigan and has a master’s from NYU.
In 1978, Weinberg created and began producing the independent film and video showcase Image Union. He went on to found Fund for Innovative TV (FITV). It was through FITV that Weinberg created and executive produced The 90’s, a breakthrough independently-produced series that aired nationally on PBS.In 2003, Weinberg founded Media Burn Archive Independent Video Archive as another project of FITV. Today the Archive holds more than 8000 documentary and nonfiction videos, with over 4000 available to watch free online. In total, the site has garnered more than 20 million page views.
Outside of video, Weinberg also authored Chasing the Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras. The nonfiction book describes his voyage through the Honduran jungles in search of a city lost to history. The journey ends in historical and archeological breakthrough, and the book relies on Weinberg’s own journal entries in addition to hundreds of photos.
Weinberg’s awards include a shared duPont-Columbia award for documentary; Chicago Producer of the Year; Silver Circle award from TV Academy; and the Studs Terkel Community Media award. Weinberg has worked with MTV, WGN-TV, NBA on CBS, and Tokyo Broadcasting. His work has been exhibited in museums in Tokyo, London, Paris, Rio, and New York.
Weinberg is a fourth-generation Chicagoan with lots of kids and grandchildren. Nearly all of his documentaries are online on mediaburn.org.