Jorge Barbosa

Jorge Barbosa’s passion for design took an unexpected turn when his career path evolved from the study of building design and architecture to the design of good storytelling and journalism.

Jorge was born in Veracruz, Mexico. He studied architecture design and spent seven years working for an engineering firm in downtown Chicago. During that period, he attended Northwestern University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Communication Sciences. Upon graduation, Jorge left with more than a degree; he left with a love for journalism and cinematography.

As Jorge describes it: “It’s just one of those things destiny brings to you.” He was referring to a position at WCIU-TV that had just opened as he was finishing his studies at NU. He took that job, and for nearly a decade, reported and anchored newscasts as part of WCIU’s multicultural programming. One of the biggest stories Jorge covered during this time was a devastating earthquake in Mexico City. He helped rally the local Mexican community to provide much needed relief to the stricken country and helped facilitate communication with relatives in the Chicago area.

Jorge joined the WGBO-TV news team when Univision took ownership of the station in the mid 1990s, transitioning Channel 66 to all-Spanish-language programming. He has been the lead anchor of Univision Chicago’s Monday through Friday 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. newscasts ever since. Jorge has developed close ties with Hispanic communities and their leaders and is proud to be a spokesperson for the Latino community regarding issues and concerns, including immigration reform.

Jorge’s broadcasting career has earned him a prestigious Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy® Award, along with several nominations. He has enjoyed meeting world leaders including Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton. Closer to home, Jorge interviewed Mayor Washington several times concerning the emergence of Latino political power in Chicago. He considers the interview he did with civil rights activist Cesar Chavez to be one of his most memorable.

Car racing tops his list of hobbies… “watching” he quickly adds, “not driving.”

Bio from Induction Year Program Book

Marshall Brodien

Close-up magician, illusionist, hypnotist, straight jacket escape artist, side show barker, television clown/wizard, magic product creator and pitchman, magic shop and catalog company owner, and restaurateur. Marshall Brodien’s experiences make an unusual and lengthy resume, but some of his most enjoyable work came while playing Wizzo on Chicago’s Bozo Circus/Bozo Show.

Marshall performed magic on Bozo in a classic tuxedo several times a year beginning in 1962. In 1968, he officially joined the cast. With the help of Roy Brown, Marshall transformed a sultan costume he acquired while working at a trade show into Wizzo the Wizard. His make-up and signature “Do-dee-do-dee-do,” as well as his nutty, mysterious persona, quickly evolved into one of the favored characters on the show. Marshall was part of an unruly group that included Bob Bell, Roy Brown, Ray Raynor, Don Sandburg, Ned Locke, Andy Mitran, Frazier Thomas and Joey D’Auria. The stage crew along with director Barbara Shikami and producer Al Hall, the ringmasters behind the scenes, never knew what antics to expect from the wild circus. The wacky wizard incorporated magic into the comedic scripts drawing as many grownups to the show as children. An episode that included Wizzo performing the Substitution Trunk Escape with Bozo and Cooky won an Emmy® Award in 1992. Marshall also appeared on the Howard Miller, Tom Duggan, and Vic Perry Shows. He performed three times on the Mike Douglas Show luring guests Louis Nye, Tony Bennett, Buddy Hackett and Totie Fields into his act. Marshall is known as one of the early TV pitchmen. He appeared in a commercial for Pillsbury Sweet Cream Pancake & Waffle Mix in 1976 and participated in televised fundraisers for Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy.

After founding Marshall Brodien Magic Company in 1969, his commercials for TV Magic Cards and Magic Sets made his name and voice nationally recognized. His famous tagline, “Magic is Easy, Once You Know the Secret,” became the patter of all young magicians of the 1970s and 80s including Lance Burton and David Copperfield. Marshall also pitched his magic products on Home Shopping Network and QVC in the 1990s.

Bio from Induction Year Program Book
Marshall passed away March 8, 2019.

Jim Disch​

Jim Disch is Director of the Office of Radio and Television for the Archdiocese of Chicago. His department produces television and radio programs, manages educational broadband channels, creates videos for three YouTube channels and produces internal video projects as needed.

Jim joined the Archdiocese after an eight-year run as Director of News and Programming for CLTV, Chicagoland’s 24-hour regional news channel. He managed a staff of more than 60 people and built the station’s reputation as a reliable source for live, continuous coverage of breaking news events. Jim brought scores of reporters, anchors, photojournalists, producers and news managers into the Chicago television market and helped them advance their careers.

CLTV became a model for convergence newsrooms, blending traditional television news with heavy involvement of print reporters from the Chicago Tribune. Jim created several TV programs based on print and web content. In Jim’s last year at the helm of the CLTV newsroom, the station garnered six Emmy® Awards, an incredible accomplishment for a cable news station.

Prior to joining CLTV, Jim spent more than 25 years at WGN-TV, including a dozen years as Assistant News Director. He was in charge of day-to-day news coverage, did much of the hiring and won several national and local awards for news production.

Jim is a past president of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, continues to serve on its board, and has served as a national trustee. In 2006, Jim received the prestigious Governor’s Award for outstanding service to the television community.

While working in the television news business, Jim also has been an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College since the early 70s. Jim was honored in 2002 for his service and dedication to Columbia College and its students. DePaul University recently added Jim to its adjunct faculty to teach Masters-level courses in news convergence.

Jim received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He and his wife, Pat, have been married for 42 years. They have four married children --- Kim, Kevin, Sean (triplets) and Steve --- and two grandchildren. Jim enjoys photography, golf, biking and traveling with his wife.

Bio from Induction Year Program Book

Steve Lasker

Steve Lasker began shooting photographs at age 13 when World War II aircraft at Midway Airport were the object of his already sharp camera skills. He shot photos for the Hyde Park High School newspaper and for the Hyde Park Herald neighborhood paper. Steve hung out at local firehouses and rode fire rigs on emergency calls where he took pictures, selling some of the images to insurance companies.

On May 25, 1950, Steve was at a firehouse when a gasoline truck crashed into a streetcar, bursting into flames and killing 34 people. Steve was the first photographer on the scene. He sold his photos to Life Magazine and to WNBQ Channel 5 where he was hired to shoot still photos for the station’s newscasts. His professional career had been launched.

After a 5-year stint with Channel 5, Steve was hired as a press photographer at the Chicago American newspaper where he racked up 37 awards for excellence in 15 years. Steve was the first photographer to arrive at the Our Lady of the Angels school fire in 1958. He documented the tragedy with stirring images, including the famous photo of an agonized fireman carrying a child out of the school.

In 1970, Steve was hired as a news and documentary cameraman at WBBM Channel 2 where he spent the next 25 years. He traveled to many parts of the world covering a variety of stories. Locally, he teamed up with legendary documentary producer Scott Craig on several award-winning projects. The specials included: Oscar Brown is Back in Town, featuring singer-activist Oscar Brown himself; No Place Like Home, a documentary that tracked the plight of Chicago’s homeless; and The Trial of Shoeless Joe Jackson, a reenactment that took viewers into the courtroom following the 1919 World Series scandal involving the Chicago White Sox.

Steve shoots commercial photography and he serves, quite appropriately, on the Fire and Police Commission.

Bio from Induction Year Program Book

Norman H. Shapiro

“Extraordinary” is the best way to describe Norman Shapiro and his accomplishments to date. Many people do not know who he is, and he likes it that way. Norm is the quiet, unassuming, behind-the-scenes leader who has steered the successes of Weigel Broadcasting Co. with the help of a terrific staff that he has built over the last 25-plus years. Norm is a family man who came home to practice law and to work in the family business after graduating from Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago Law School and working in the U.S. Congress as a legislative aide. He is a businessman with a commitment to Weigel Broadcasting employees, to the television industry and to the community at large.

In Chicago, Norm has overseen the dramatic expansion of several businesses, including the remarkable growth of WCIU-TV as a general market independent. More broadly, his foresight has laid the foundation for the two most successful digital networks today: This TV and Me-TV. Weigel Broadcasting was the first recipient of the NAB’s award for Multicast Broadcaster of the Year. This happened during the recent recession during which, at Norm’s insistence, there were no layoffs at Weigel properties.

Weigel also operates local stations in Milwaukee, WI, and in South Bend, IN, building both businesses from the ground up. The investment in the South Bend market, one of the most economically depressed in the U.S., represents Norm’s commitment to set an example of service to the community. This was great news for the local economy combining a major opportunity for journalists to be hired with an innovative approach for the industry to delivering news.

“Service” is an overarching theme in Norm’s work. He has received national recognition as recipient of the NAB Service to America Award along with other honors. Locally, his dedication to the community has given Weigel Broadcasting the privilege of working with the Chicago Public Schools and supporting its academic and athletic programs.

Under Norm’s leadership, Weigel strives to innovate, inform, entertain, and serve the community. By all indications, he is succeeding. Norm is a quiet force and a broadcaster’s broadcaster.

Bio from Induction Year Program Book

Ed Spray

Ed Spray began his broadcast career as a film editor at WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana. Following graduate school at Indiana University, he joined Chicago’s WMAQ-TV as an AD/stage manager. In 1969, he was named director of Floyd Kalber’s 10 o’clock news, which at the time was the nation’s highest rated local news program. He also directed Kup’s Show, Sorting It Out and the weekly Channel 5 Sunday Night Specials. Promoted to producer, he was responsible for many community based documentaries and specials winning a number of local and national awards. Ed considers himself fortunate to have been part of Channel 5’s “Camelot Years.”

He moved to WBBM-TV in 1974 with the responsibility of forming an expanded and aggressive program department. Timing was perfect and local programming became the ideal compliment to the station’s investment in the new Channel 2 News franchise featuring Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson. Ed added Scott Craig, Bob Smith, and Bruce DuMont to an already strong staff including Jim Hatfield, Jim Coursen and Lee Phillip. He then embarked on a 10-year run of unprecedented ratings, honors and awards.

Channel 2’s attention to local news and programming paid off and in the early ‘80’s it became the city’s highest rated and most award-winning station. Noted journalist Fred Friendly called WBBM-TV the "best television station in the country" for its news and programming efforts. In 1986, Spray was transferred to KCBS-TV in Los Angeles and was named vice president of programming and development for all CBS-owned stations.

In 1994, after three decades in broadcast television, Ed moved to cable television and joined the E.W.Scripps Company. He became one of the co-founders of Home and Garden Television where he managed the initial development, production and scheduling of HGTV content. He became executive vice president when the Food Network and DIY were added. And in 2000, he was named president of Scripps Networks managing and providing strategic oversight to six cable networks. Ed retired in 2005 and became a professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Donna live in Knoxville Tennessee.

Bio from Induction Year Program Book

Burr Tillstrom

Franklin Burr Tillstrom was born in Chicago in 1917 and grew up in a music-loving family. After seeing the live stage shows that often preceded movies, he would recreate them with stuffed toys on his window sill as neighborhood children watched outside.

In 1933, he attended the Chicago World’s Fair, where he was inspired by puppeteers Rufus Rose and Bil Baird, who let him watch backstage. He was active in high school dramatics and later the Chicago Park District’s puppet theater, supported by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). He made Kukla in 1936, who was named by the ballerina Tamara Toumanova, after the Russian word for “doll.” Burr attended the first American Puppet Festival in 1936 and was a professional puppeteer by the age of 22. At the RCA Victor pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Burr performed more than 2,000 shows on some of the first TV sets shown to the public. The following year he made television history again, taking part in RCA’s first ship-to-shore telecast in Bermuda. The Kuklapolitans appeared on the premiere broadcast of Chicago’s WBKB in 1941, but when the war halted commercial television, Burr gave shows for war bond rallies instead, and at one of these he first met radio star Fran Allison.

In October of 1947, back at WBKB (which is now WLS) Burr premiered Junior Jamboree, an hour-long children’s show starring the Kuklapolitans and Fran, with music director Jack Fascinato. When it soon gathered a large adult following, it was renamed Kukla, Fran and Ollie and moved to WNBQ (now WMAQ). In January of 1949, KFO was one of the first shows broadcast over the NBC Network via the coaxial cable linking the Midwest to the East Coast. The station was home to the famed “Chicago School of Television” which included Dr. Frances Horwich (Ding Dong School), Dave Garroway (Garroway at Large), Marlin Perkins (Zoo Parade), and Studs Terkel (Studs’ Place).

KFO featured more than a dozen characters and was unscripted. It won critical and viewer acclaim with its warmth, gentle wit, and music. Famous fans from the world of politics and show business often watched at home or in the studio audience and even wrote fan letters. In 1958, Fran and Burr were founding members of the Chicago Chapter of the TV Academy and served on the Board of Governors. In 1979, the Chapter awarded Tillstrom its highest honor – the Governors’ Award.

After KFO’s first run ended in 1957, the Kuklapolitans appeared on a 5-minute NBC show, performed on Broadway, hosted The CBS Children’s Film Festival, starred in a series on PBS that was later syndicated, and gave holiday shows at the Goodman Theatre. Burr also created an award-winning series of hand ballets on the topical satire program That Was the Week That Was. In the 1980s, Fran reunited with Burr and his troupe for a series of holiday specials back at WMAQ: Happy Birthday Beulah Witch, ‘Tis the Season to Be Ollie, and Crisis at the Egg Plant.

In a lifetime of creativity and history-making firsts, Burr won more than 50 awards, including two Peabody Awards, two National Emmy® Awards, and a Grammy nomination. Burr’s creative genius inspired new generations of artists, including Shari Lewis (Lambchop) and Jim Henson (The Muppets). He was posthumously inducted into the Academy’s National Television Hall of Fame. In 2009, the U.S. Postal Service issued a KFO stamp as part of its “Early Television Memories” collection.

For more information on the life and work of Burr Tillstrom and the Kuklapolitans, visit

Bio from Induction Year Program Book