Award-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 recently 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.
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; twelve 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.
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.
Video showing a 13-year-old being beaten on his way to school has surfaced and the boy’s outraged parents say school officials put him in danger. CBS 2’s Dave Savini has their story in this Original Report.
Criminal action or natural disaster, there are warnings that both pose impending threats to our electrical grid. In this Original Report, CBS 2’s Dave Savini looks at the security of our power system. Whether the electric grid gets hacked by cyber criminals, physically attacked at a power plant or Mother Nature strikes — all could be devastating to the system.
A Chicago woman was billed for psychiatric services she purportedly received at Stroger Hospital. CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates.
Did Michael LaPorta Jr. try to commit suicide — or did somebody else pull the trigger with an officer’s gun? More than four years later, his family is waiting for answers, CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Chip Green suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a puck during a playoff game. He wants the NHL to make safety changes, CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
2 Investigator Dave Savini reports these bogus licenses are being sold online and could pose a risk to homeland security.
Etizolam is considered a research drug. The way it is manufactured keeps it off the list of drugs illegal to sell, even though it can be dangerous. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Bad reactions to dogs and other pets on planes can be severe. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini warns people about the latest drug trend, which has been described as the free-basing of marijuana.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini has been investigating and talking to one frustrated bike rider after another who are taking to the internet to find help.
A violent attacker in the south suburbs has struck again. A fourth woman has been mugged in south suburban Midlothian, by a masked man who has blindsided women walking home late at night.
The postal system is in financial trouble but the CBS 2 Investigators uncovered a boss at the federal agency who is anywhere but at work in the middle of his government day.
Explosive target material being sold at local stores could cause injuries and death. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
They’re known as International Driver’s Licenses — and they’re completely invalid. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
A call to Chicago police for help with a mentally ill man led to an arrest, a TASER being repeatedly deployed and an outraged family. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Young children are being sent to unfamiliar neighborhoods sell candy door-to-door in the name of charity. CBS 2’s Dave Savini has been investigating these operations and found, in some cases, criminals claim to have charities and use children to peddle their goods.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini launched an investigation to find out what passengers are being exposed to.
They just wanted to see their favorite performers in concert, but ended up in the hospital instead. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports on lawsuits filed against Live Nation.
The Transportation Security Administration says the bags belonged to a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old who were returning from a school field trip to Europe.
Baking with poppy seeds and using the pods in flower arrangements are both common but few people know that growing a certain kind of poppy plant or possessing them is illegal in the United States. CBS 2-Investigators talked to a West Chicago man who found out the hard way.