Diederich College of Communication Recipients
Communicator of the Year Award
STEVEN K. BERTRAND, JOUR '85
Steve Bertrand thinks being successful results from never turning down an opportunity. It’s something he has rarely done.
After graduating in 1985, he said yes to the opportunity to join WGN Radio, Chicago’s powerhouse news and talk station that’s the flagship for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Northwestern University football and men’s basketball teams. He has been there ever since, these days serving as morning news anchor with host Jonathan Brandmeier.
“I have the luxury of entertaining and informing people at the same time,” he says. “The audience is as comfortable hearing a joke from me as hearing a breaking news story. That’s a pleasure not a lot of journalists get to enjoy.”
Steve spent six years on the road with the Super Bowl Shuffle-era Chicago Bears, producing the station’s play-by-play calls and hosting pre- and postgame shows. He also hosted WGN’s popular Saturday morning show from 2000–04.
Steve has come a long way since his Real Chili oyster-cracker-fighting days at Marquette, but he still takes time to reminisce about the foundation the university gave him.
“No other institution has guided me as much as Marquette,” says Steve, who has won several awards, including a Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Award. “Marquette opened intellectual doors for me. It taught me that learning doesn’t end when class is over or even when college is over.”
A lesson he truly lives by. Away from WGN, he hosted Meet the Writers for barnesandnoble.com, interviewing hundreds of the world’s top writers and establishing a national reputation in the publishing world. His interview with Steve Jobs’ sister, Mona Simpson, was featured on ABC’s Nightline in 2011.
His Facebook page, Steve Bertrand on Books, is constantly adding fans.
Fun facts about Steve:
Hometown: Manteno, Ill.
Favorite book: Dakota by Kathleen Norris
Favorite Marquette memory: Oyster cracker fights at Real Chili