Dave Savini

savini Dave SaviniAward-winning Chicago journalist Dave Savini serves as investigative reporter for CBS 2 Chicago.

Savini, whose exclusive investigations have earned him broadcast journalism’s top honors, began work at CBS 2 Chicago in July 2004. He was awarded broadcast journalism’s most coveted national award, a 2008 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for his investigation exposing gaping holes in security at O’Hare International Airport. The duPont Award is broadcast’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize which is also decided by a panel of judges at Columbia University in New York.


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Savini’s investigations have uncovered corruption in several police departments, exposed medical negligence, government waste, fraudulent charities and child exploitation. His reports have resulted in legal reforms and policy changes within government agencies, local corporations and have prompted new laws.

Savini won the 2006 Emmy for Best Hard News Series “Blindsided.” The investigation revealed how metal based road reflectors were breaking loose from roads, crashing through windshields and severely injuring motorists. The expose led to the immediate removal of broken or loose reflectors in DuPage County. Savini also broke the national story involving secret sexual harassment settlements involving William Kennedy Smith and his role with a Chicago based charity.

Savini has won the Associated Press award for Best Reporter five times and has been honored for excellence throughout his investigative reporting career. His many awards include: twenty-nine Associated Press Awards; 14 local Emmy Awards, including four for Individual Excellence; twelve Peter Lisagor Awards; two Herman Kogan Awards from the Chicago Bar Association; a national Clarion Award; twelve regional RTNDA awards and the national Edward R. Murrow Award.

He received the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement For Reporter along with 2014 Outstanding Investigative Report for his story on Metra’s dirty air aboard trains departing Union Station.

Savini and long-time producer Michele Youngerman were honored in 2006 by the Chicago Bar Association for their series “Good Gifts Gone Bad.” The yearlong probe led to a new law after they revealed how millions of dollars worth of donated cars, clothes and toys meant for charity were actually being ripped off by felons and unlicensed middlemen. Savini and Youngerman also received the 2005 Associated Press Newspaper Award for Investigative Reporting about the scam that ran in the Naperville Sun, CBS 2 Chicago’s media partner. Their on-going series “Fly at Your Own Risk” exposed nearly 4,000 missing employee access badges at O’Hare International Airport– the largest security breach of its kind. The series led to sweeping arrests, federal investigations and a Chicago Inspector General probe into the Chicago Department of Aviation’s handling of these badges. The series was honored with a 2007 Silver Dome Award, 2008 regional RTNDA Murrow award and the 2008 Alfred I. duPont Award.

Before joining CBS 2 Chicago, Savini worked at WMAQ-TV in Chicago as an investigative reporter (1993-2004). His series “Selling Innocence” led to the arrest and conviction of a child sex-offender who was running a child modeling website. Savini was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show after he showed how the website was merely a front for a child porn operation. The series won a national Clarion award and was an Alfred I. duPont Award Finalist.

Savini exposed local 911 operators who were asleep on the job; uncovered faulty background checks of CTA workers; and revealed how children were being locked in dangerous time-out rooms in some Illinois schools. Savini’s investigation of “The Ford Heights Four” revealed four wrongfully imprisoned men who were sentenced to death. This report made national headlines, led to new DNA tests and ultimately led to their freedom.

Prior to working at WMAQ, Savini worked at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York as an anchor and investigative reporter. Before that, he was the Raleigh bureau chief at WNCT-TV in Greenville, North Carolina (1990-92). He began his career as a weekend anchor and investigative reporter at WHIZ-TV in Zanesville, Ohio. Savini’s fascination with broadcast journalism and investigative reporting began when he worked as an intern in WMAQ’s investigative unit in 1987. In addition to his broadcasting duties, Savini has written for several area newspapers including the Naperville Sun and the Aurora Beacon News.

Savini, who is an avid chef and triathlete, was born and raised in Chicago and is a 1985 graduate of Weber High School. He went on to earn a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton in 1989.

This is all that's left of Dana Drew's three dogs. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Indiana Man Gets Pass After Shooting, Burning Three Dogs

Police officials in DeMotte, Ind. say their hands are tied, even though a resident admits to shooting and burning a neighbor’s dogs. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

02/04/2016

Richard Skibicki recovers from bullet wounds. (photo courtesy Lance Northcutt)

2 Investigators: Chicago Cop Shoots Teen During Curfew Confrontation

Chicago police claim the teen swung a board. Richard Skibicki disagrees and tells his story to CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

01/22/2016

Adam Silvers (CBS)

2 Investigators: Suburban Man Loses Battle With Heroin

The recent death of Adam Silvers shows how dangerous relapses can be for former heroin users. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports on efforts to help others.

01/08/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: CHA Collecting Millions In Tax Dollars For Mostly Vacant Housing Complex

CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates the city’s handling of your money.

01/05/2016

Jeff Grzonka (CBS)

Detainee In Fox Lake Police Beating Video Says He Was Pressured To Sign Settlement With Village

The man in surveillance video released by Fox Lake officials Friday talks with CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

12/11/2015

This surveillance video screen grab shows police scuffling with detainee Phillip Coleman in December 2012. (CBS/Chicago Police Department)

Chicago Reopens Probe Into Cops’ Use Of Taser In Jail Cell

Initially cleared, officers are now back under investigation.

12/08/2015

This surveillance video screen grab shows police scuffling with detainee Phillip Coleman in December 2012. (CBS/Chicago Police Department)

Chicago Police Superintendent: Treatment Of Detainee Who Died In 2012 Is Under Investigation

Police claimed Philip Coleman was acting combative behind bars before they used a TASER. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

12/07/2015

Kenneth Wells (CBS)

2 Investigators: Feds Pump Millions Into Building Where Boy Fell From Sixth-Floor Window

The privately owned Parkway Gardens has been hit with several city building code violations, CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

11/23/2015

Dr. Charles DeHaan.

2 Investigators: Patients Accuse Doctor Of Sexual Abuse

CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates years of complaints against Dr. Charles Dehaan and why no one stopped him sooner.

11/17/2015

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Dangerous Driving By Jimmy John’s “Freaky Fast” Delivery Drivers

CBS 2’s Dave Savini hit the road and followed drivers, catching speeding and other infractions.

11/10/2015

Energy drinks (Getty Images)

2 Investigators: More Health Concerns About Energy Drinks

(CBS) — His heart started racing after he drank a few energy drinks. He thought he was having a heart attack. Other incidents have been reported to the FDA.  Are energy drinks dangerous for some […]

11/09/2015

A Whitney Young senior talks to CBS 2's Dave Savini about allegations surrounding athletics. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Student Athletes Say They’re Benched Or Cut If They Don’t ‘Pay To Play’

Pay fees at a private athletic club or get benched at public schools. That’s the scenario some Chicago student athletes say they are facing. CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates.

11/02/2015

(Credit: CBS)

Advocates Want Salon Workers To Get Training In Spotting Domestic Abuse

At a City Council committee hearing Monday, prosecutors and domestic violence experts plan to campaign for hair stylists, cosmetologists, and nail technicians to go through mandatory training to spot signs of abuse, and help victims.

10/26/2015

George Taylor (CBS)

2 Investigators: Man Claims Cops Used Racial Slurs In Two Run-Ins With Him

George Taylor previously told CBS 2 he was the victim of misconduct – an incident caught on dash-cam video. Now, there’s been another alleged run-in with officers – and another video. CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates.

09/28/2015

Broken glass from a shower door. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Boy, 9, Injured After Glass Shower Door Shatters

A routine evening shower ended with an emergency room visit for a nine-year-old boy. His glass shower door just suddenly shattered, like hundreds, possibly thousands of others that have shattered without warning.

09/22/2015

(courtesy: Christine Balog)

2 Investigators: Strippers Cavort At Public Golf Course

Gophers aren’t a problem, but adult entertainers may be, at west suburban golf course partly supported with tax dollars. CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with residents who are upset.

09/21/2015

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2 Investigators: Culture Of Athlete Abuse At U Of I May Be Wider Than Just Football

Simon Cvijanovic’s allegations led to an independent investigation of the Illini program, and ultimately head football coach Tim Beckman was fired.

CBS Chicago–09/17/2015

Illegal dumping on the DuPage River in Plainfield. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Taxpayers May Be On The Hook For Farmer’s Mess

The man believed to be behind the illegal dumping and pollution along the DuPage River died in a traffic accident. Now who pays? CBS 2’s Dave Savini has this follow-up report.

09/14/2015

A piece of concrete fell and smashed Amanda Whittington's car.  (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Woman’s Car Smashed After Concrete Falls From Expressway

Big chunks of concrete keep falling from state bridges.

09/09/2015

Crews remove pedestrian shelters at O'Hare on Thursday. (CBS)

Crews Clear O’Hare Of Poorly Maintained Shelters, After Woman’s Serious Injury

Last week, CBS 2’s Dave Savini told you about a young woman left paralyzed when a pedestrian shelter fell on top of her. The city took action Thursday that will help protect others.

08/20/2015

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