Mary Ann Bergerson Ahern joined NBC 5 News in March 1989 and was named political reporter in 2006. Ahern has covered political campaigns from the White House to Springfield to Chicago. She witnessed the transition from Mayor Richard Daley to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and traveled through the primary states for the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. She has covered presidential election nights from Texas, Boston, and Chicago and has covered presidential inaugurations from Washington, D.C. Ahern gained recognition for covering the religion beat and has reported from Rome on the selection of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict's farewell and the 2014 canonization of pontiffs John XXIII and John Paul II. She covered Pope John Paul II's trip to Cuba and events from several World Youth Day gatherings. She followed Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s final years, the selection of Cardinal Francis George, the beatification of Mother Teresa, and the Pope’s emergency meeting with American Cardinals on the priest sex abuse crisis. In 1991, Ahern was the first reporter to disclose the abuse by clergy that led to the Archdiocese of Chicago eventually opening its files and creating a lay review board, a model other cities followed. Ahern is often selected to file stories for NBC affiliates nationwide and is called on as a panelist for religion media issues. She conducted the last television interview with actor and disability activist Christopher Reeve in October 2004, just days before he died. She has also covered everyday events from elections to snowstorms, from City Hall and Wrigley Field to Princess Diana’s visit to Chicago. She’s known for enterprising stories about everyday people placed in extraordinary circumstances, like the Marine who had his purple heart revoked. Before coming to NBC 5, Ahern was the political reporter for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Ga, and she was a reporter/weekend anchor at WEEK-TV in Peoria, Ill. A native of Michigan City, Ind., she graduated with a B.A. degree from John Carroll University and received her Master's degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. She later earned another Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. In 2012, she was honored with the Peter Lisagor Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Headline Club.
James Angio is a native Chicagoan who graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Radio-TV Communications. He also worked as a director at PBS affiliate WSIU-TV in Carbondale. Returning to Chicago, he worked at WSNS-TV as a producer/director for the station’s coverage of Chicago White Sox baseball, Chicago Blackhawks hockey and college basketball. He also directed public affairs programs, special features, pilots and commercials.
From 1980-81, James worked for ON-TV (pay TV) in Chicago, producing/directing the Chicago Sting’s NASL indoor soccer season, Chicago Avon Tennis Championship and directing Loyola University basketball. As an independent producer/director, James directed for ESPN, SportsChannel, and MetroSports. Those productions included tennis tournaments, Big Ten & Big East basketball, ACC basketball quarterfinals, and NHL, NBA, NASL/MISL, WCHA, and NCAA games.
From 1982-1985, James was Senior Producer/Director for SportsChannel Chicago where he oversaw more than 1,100 major sporting events, from the White Sox to the Blackhawks to the Bulls, from NCAA to pro bowling and tennis, from boxing to gymnastics to volleyball. James created his own production company in 1985 – Chicago Sports & Entertainment, Inc., where he has been responsible for over 6,500 professional and college sports events. His client list includes: WBBM-TV, WMAQ-TV, WFLD-TV, WGN-TV, Fox Sports Net Chicago, The Baseball Network (ABC & NBC Sports), Fox Sports Network, Major League Baseball, The New Mike Ditka Show, Bears, Bulls, White Sox, ESPN, Lorimar Sports, SportsVision Chicago, SportsChannel Chicago, Fox Sports Chicago, USA Television Network, and SportsChannel America.
Since 2004 he serves as the Senior Producer/Director for ComcastSportsNet Chicago for Chicago White Sox Baseball (MLB) and Chicago Bulls Basketball (NBA).
Producing and directing sports has gotten James a front row (control room) seat to countless exhilarating sports moments. His professionalism during those long seasons, pennant races and playoff games has not gone unrecognized. He has won 14 Chicago/Midwest Emmy® Awards for everything from the Chicago Marathon to Blackhawks hockey to Bulls basketball and also for individual achievement in directing. He has also earned three Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards and a National Cable Ace Award.
James and his social worker wife, Kristine, have two married daughters -- Jennifer & Jaime -- and two grandchildren (Allison & Luke).
Steve Baskerville was the chief meteorologist for the CBS 2 Chicago evening news and retired in December 2017. For nearly 30 years, viewers tuned into his weeknight forecasts at 5pm, 6pm and 10pm. Baskerville has been honored for excellence throughout his career, including being inducted into the Silver Circle in 2017. He has earned eleven local Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence in 2006, for the 2005 news special Steve’s Getaway Guide, 2004 Emmy® Awards for his coverage of the deadly tornado in Utica, IL and for coverage of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and a 1999 Emmy® for his news feature Best of Chicago. In 2001, the Illinois Broadcasters Association recognized Steve Baskerville for the Best Weather Segment.
Before joining CBS 2 Chicago in 1987, Baskerville was the weather anchor for CBS This Morning. Prior to that, he was with KYW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, where he worked as a weather anchor, morning talk show co-host, and host of a daily children’s program which was honored by Action for Children’s Television.
Baskerville’s interest in children’s programming led him to host a two-hour special, Dealing with Dope. He also co-hosted a children’s issues program for WCBS-TV called, What If.
Baskerville has displayed his diverse skills by hosting projects such as: Thanks to Teachers, a salute to area educators; Taste of the Taste, a half-hour broadcast live from the Taste of Chicago; the All-City Jamboree, a high school talent competition; and Beautiful Babies, a public service campaign. Baskerville also hosted CBS 2 Chicago′s Emmy® Award winning program, Sunday! With Steve Baskerville! a talk and variety program featuring local celebrities, chefs and entertainers.
Steve began his broadcasting career while working for the Office of Curriculum in the Philadelphia School District, where he hosted a children’s show on public radio. Baskerville earned a Certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 2006. He received his AMS Seal of Approval in 2007. Steve is a native of Philadelphia and holds a B.S. in Communications from Temple University. Honored by the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative in 1994 as the Father of the Year, Steve and his wife Janice have two children, Aaron and Sheena, and two grandchildren, Andrew and Miles. Baskerville and his wife live in Glenview
Ron Born was born in Chicago in an era when Vaudeville had given way to affordable cinema. Growing up, television was a new, exciting medium. As he told his children: “Television was to me what the Internet was to you.” It was new, live and full of possibilities. But before he began his career in television and film, he was drafted into the army during the Korean War. During basic training, Ron was out with the fellows, drinking in a bar and, as a prank, his friends made him get on stage and do a piano and comedy routine. There was a talent scout in the audience who recruited Ron into the entertainment corps where he entertained the troops from Fort Riley, Kansas.
In the ’50s and ’60s, Ron was the on-air talent for a variety of TV programs. In 1957, he was a part of Shock Theater, when everything was broadcast live. To his mother’s chagrin, he played Orville, the hunchback. By 2005, there was so much nostalgia and hipster fandom for this vintage show that he and his wife Lucille were invited to a special “Early Horror in Television” festival.
In 1963, while working as on-air talent at WBKB (now WLS-TV), he met Sam Ventura. Together they developed several Emmy® Award-winning documentaries. Later, they created a company that combined their last names, VeBo Productions. They grew the production company, capitalizing on their story-telling talents until almost the turn of the millennium.
They made hundreds of films, notably Chatter’s World, a series of 150 syndicated, short films following the adventures of Chatter the Chimp. The show was created by filming a poorly-trained, energetic chimpanzee in an environment like a grocery store or gymnasium. Ron would write and perform a humorous monologue for the chimp symbolic of man clumsily navigating the modern world.
From industrial pipelines to PBS specials, they developed filmmaking that focused on telling the story of people through patient and thoughtful interviews. Ron dedicated his entire career in television, film and video to the belief that sincere storytelling is the hallmark of lasting influence. He lived in the Chicago suburbs, and celebrated over 40 years of marriage to his wife Lucille, and had two children and three grandchildren. Ron passed away in December 2017.
I often describe myself as a Mexican/Irish girl growing up in an all-black neighborhood on Chicago's west side. As a kid, I rode the "L" all over the city, taking pictures of friends and neighborhoods. I knew one day I would either be a cop or photographer.
After two years at UIC studying criminal justice, I changed majors and enrolled at Columbia College in Communication. One day after school, I walked down State Street to WLS-TV and applied as a desk assistant and climbed the newsroom ladder from there. Five Chicago television stations later, I was hired at FOX News Chicago in '87. I was assigned to a live truck, shooting and editing news and sports, covering mayors, gangbangers, Blackhawks and Cubs.
I have taught video editing and shooting classes at Columbia College. Two years ago, I was lucky to score a writing gig for the Kenosha News. "My Turn" is a 700-word column where I express my personal thoughts and experiences. Recently, I wrote about my solo adventures in Cuba, my son's driving suspension, yard sales and summer vacations. In 2012, I went back to school and earned a Masters in Communication Degree from Northwestern University. I had the time of my life!
This summer, I will celebrate my 30th year as a member of the Fox Chicago news team. Stories ranging from the city's first settlers to handshakes snaking thru City Hall, to stories stretching from the south, west and north sides of the city, it is the love of the unexpected Chicago scenarios that keeps me excited for work each day! When you leave Chicago, you're going nowhere.
I married the man of my dreams, Fox News Emmy®-Award-winning photographer and great dad, Mike Majewski. We have two healthy children, Tommy and Rosie. My mom, Kay, is my inspiration, and Aunt Maryjo keeps me laughing. I can jump in the cold blue waters of Lake Michigan from my backyard, having built a home on the sand in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Yes, I commute 140 miles each day to cover the Greatest Stories on Earth!!
Paul Hogan spent 25 of his 48 years reporting the news---in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, the Panama Canal Zone and in Chicago. He believed journalism was a high calling and never took his skill and good luck for granted. Paul Michael Hogan was born in 1944 in Gallipolis, Ohio along the Ohio River. His family moved to the Dayton area where he and his two brothers grew up. Paul loved sports but did not play baseball or basketball. His sport was debate; his knowledge and quick wit won him a national High School debate title and armed him for a career in journalism and broadcasting. Paul spent several years in the Army serving as radio/TV anchor at the U.S. Army SCN network in Panama. Back home, he worked commercial radio news in Columbus and joined WOSU, part of the newly formed NPR network. That led to public TV, where he produced and hosted a weekly round-table with reporters who covered state government. (And he finally completed his degree at Ohio State University.) In the mid-70s, Paul sent a tape and resume to John Callaway, then the News Director at WTTW. John advised him to get more experience and come back in a year or two. It was good advice; In 1977 Paul was hired to field produce at WMAQ TV, a job that turned into a reporting position. Among the stories he investigated and broke: the tale of Walter Polovchak, a 12 year old Ukrainian who refused to return home with his parents; the story of U.S. Senate candidate Carol Moseley Braun cheating the Medicaid system; developments in the Tylenol murder case and the murder of 8 year old Jacqueline Dowaliby. It wasn't all crime and tragedy. In a 10pm stand-up report at the Thompson Center during Chicago's 1992 underground flood, he noticed a fish swimming around his shoe. He swept down, grabbed it by the tail and held it up to the camera, wondering aloud what the architect of the building, Helmut Jahn, must be thinking. Paul died January 31, 1993. He is buried at Graceland Cemetery, one of his favorite historic Chicago sites. His widow, Kris Kridel, and his children Michael and Katie miss him every day.
Gene Siskel was born in 1946 on the North Side of Chicago, attended Culver Military academy and graduated from Yale University with a degree in philosophy in 1967. During a stint in the Army Reserves, he was asked whether he wanted to be a truck driver a dishwasher or a journalist and the rest is as they say…movie history. Gene joined the Chicago Tribune upon graduation and remained its film critic for 30 years. Gene’s intellect and wit drew the attention of Van Gordon Sauter, the general manager of WBBM-TV who went on to become the President of CBS News. Sauter was an initiator of taking beat reporters from newspapers and hiring them as credible TV personalities. Gene began reviewing movies for WBBM in 1975 marrying his 5pm producer Marlene Iglitzen after she returned from producing at WCBS in 1980. They had 3 children, now 22, 30 and 33. Gene’s other life partner was Roger Ebert. Producer Thea Flaum helped pair Roger with Gene for the nationally successful program on WTTW, Sneak Previews. The show was later syndicated by WGN and Buena Vista TV. Gene, along with Roger, appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and even the Muppet Show. But it was courtside at the Chicago Stadium where Gene made regular appearances - attending all 6 Bulls playoffs - even suggesting to David Falk, Michael Jordan’s agent, that Michael should be the first black James Bond. Gene threw out a decent first pitch at a White Sox game in April, 1998. Days later he was diagnosed with brain cancer and died 9 months later. At the time of his death, Gene was working for the Chicago Tribune, Siskel and Ebert, The CBS Morning News, TV guide and Channel 2. In 2000, Gene’s legacy was honored by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago when it re-named its new independent film center on State Street, the Gene Siskel Film Center. The Gene Siskel Film center attracts has nearly 100,000 movie-goers each year.
Sam joined ABC-TV (WBKB) Chicago in 1963 as a Director of Documentaries. Ron Born was also working at WBKB as on-the-air talent and Ron and Sam were assigned as a team to produce and direct film documentaries. Subjects included: The Way for Edie (a study of the reasons a young girl decides to become a nun), The Jews in Germany (examining the puzzling refusal of contemporary Jews to leave the country where not too long ago they found terror), The Fourth Man (the story of a black family leaving their New Orleans home to find work in Chicago), Home Again (film insights into such varied and interesting personalities as Steve Allen, Benny Goodman and poet Archibald MacLeish, following them during their homecoming to Chicago).
In 1966 Sam and Ron left ABC to follow Red Quinlan and Cliff Braun to help establish a new TV station (WFLD-TV). Ron and Sam teamed up to produce film documentaries, including: A War With Many Faces and Panorama , both of which won Emmy® Awards. They produced a variety of documentaries including: USS Lincoln Aircraft Carrier showing the construction and operations of a full service aircraft carrier, Kukla and Ollie in Michigan, a pilot TV episode starring the Kuklapolitans away from their home set.
In the mid ‘60s, they launched VeBo Productions. At VeBo they produced the Chatter’s World series, films following the adventures of Chatter the Chimp (Ron Born’s voice) in a variety of everyday occupations. They produced documentary image films for TV distribution for large corporations including Federal Express, Sears, Hill and Knowlton, General Foods, Gatorade and Wilson Sporting Goods.
In 1999, Ron retired. Sam began working for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) trading his behind the scenes efforts to being in front of cameras as its External Affairs Officer. His deployments included hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, snow emergencies, ice storms and terrorist attacks (9/11). He was with the agency until 2015.
He resided in Chicago, and enjoyed his family; his daughters Stacey and Holly, his wife Belinda and his 6-year-old grandson Sam. He is directing the tree trimmers, grocery store clerks, his golf partner, an occasional home repairman, and mentoring young wanna-be directors. Sam passed away on May 29, 2021.
Born in Washington, D.C., Phil Walters grew up valorizing Edward R. Murrow and other heroes of the golden age of broadcast journalism. Following his graduation from Williams College with a degree in English literature, he began his career at the Providence Journal and as a TV news writer in Boston before arriving at NBC 5 in 1967 as a news writer and newscast producer.
Phil later joined CBS 2 and, in 1976, left Chicago to work at the CBS News Washington Bureau, returning to Chicago three years later as a general-assignment reporter. He also created quirky weekly essays called In Other Words, for which he won a writing Emmy® Award. In 1986, he returned to Channel 5, where he would spend the remainder of his career. Over the course of thirty-five years, he won nine regional Emmy® Awards for spot news coverage, a series of reports called Unconventional on the 1996 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and for individual excellence in reporting and writing. Phil also won recognition from: Illinois United Press International "Best Reporter," two Illinois UPI Awards, a Peter Lisagor Award, an Illinois Associated Press Award and an American Bar Association Award. In 1989, Phil was granted a Benton Fellowship at the University of Chicago, an honor bestowed to advance the work of television and radio professionals.
Phil covered the lives--and sometimes deaths--of figures as diverse as Nelson Algren, Del Close and Cardinal Bernardin. He reported on both the 1968 and 1996 Democratic Conventions in Chicago and the death of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in a 1969 police raid. Along with veteran producer Joe Howard, Phil produced Hizzoner, a half-hour special on the late Mayor Daley. But he took particular pride in sharing the lives of ordinary men and women in the city of Chicago, in all their complexities -- a Chicago snowplow driver, Polish immigrants arriving to the city, a newsstand operator in City Hall, and countless stories of ever-hopeful Cubs fans.
Phil cared passionately about the written and spoken word, his vegetable garden and farm in Wisconsin, and especially his family, Tyce Walters and Paula Weiss. He died in 1999, of lung cancer, at the age of 57.