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.

Derrick Lee talks with CBS 2's Dave Savini. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Pageant Organizer Accused Of Pocketing Charity Money

Derrick Lee collected money in the name of a children’s hospital. What happened to the proceeds? CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.

12 hours ago

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Chicago Firefighter Accused Of Profiting Off Of Fire Victims

He’s a Chicago firefighter and public servant, someone of trust. However questions are being raised about his side job for a company that does fire repairs.

05/04/2016

Catherine Brown, left, reviews dash cam video with CBS 2's Dave Savini. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Pastor Says Chicago Cops Beat Her During Road Rage Incident

Catherine Brown claims Chicago police officers rammed her car and roughed her up, endangering her children. CBS 2’s Dave Savini looks at dashcam video.

04/28/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Deaths Related To Powerful Drug Fentanyl On The Rise In DuPage County

It started as a painkiller for cancer patients. Now, it’s a street drug being manufactured in illegal pill labs by drug cartels and it is killing users.

04/27/2016

(Credit: CBS)

Activists Hold Peace March After Girl, 1, Wounded In Shooting

CHICAGO (CBS) — A one-year-old girl was shot in the neck Friday night sitting in the back of a relative’s car. Now Khloe’s family is calling for justice and peace with a rally Saturday. CBS […]

04/16/2016

(CBS/Chicago Police Department)

2 Investigators: Family Of Philip Coleman Wants Culture Change In Chicago Police Department

It’s not the money the family of Philip Coleman wanted. What they wanted is a change in the behavior of police officers and they want the ones involved in his death to be prosecuted.

04/13/2016

(CBS/Chicago Police Department)

City Council Approves Settlement For Family Of Philip Coleman

Another multi-million-dollar payout for police misconduct approved by city council today, this time for the 2012 death of Philip Coleman.

04/13/2016

(Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Private Clubs With Ties To CPS Used School Facilities For Free

CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates private companies with CPS connections using school space and not paying cash.

03/30/2016

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2 Investigators: Woman Has Miscarriage After Being Tased By Chicago Cop

CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini investigates the officer’s troubled past.

03/16/2016

(Credit: JFK Forum Institute of Politics )

Garry McCarthy Makes First Public Comments Since Firing In Wake Of Laquan McDonald Shooting

McCarthy gave his view of the aftermath to a group of Harvard students.

03/09/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: The Dangers Of ‘Keyless’ Cars

At least 18 related deaths have been reported nationwide, and hundreds of near-misses, due to keyless ignition mistakes: vehicles accidentally left running and filling homes with deadly fumes. CBS 2′ Dave Savini reports.

02/29/2016

(CBS)

2 Investigators: How Police Are Preparing For Attacks At Houses Of Worship

CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with religious leaders and law enforcement representatives about what they are doing to protect congregants.

02/25/2016

X Ray of a Cook County inmate who ingested metal pieces. (Cook County Sheriff)

2 Investigators: Inmates Eating Pieces Of Jail, Costing Taxpayers Millions

One Cook County prisoner has had 20 surgeries. Why are he and others purposefully ingesting the items? CBS 2’s Dave Savini talks with Sheriff Tom Dart.

02/22/2016

Sgt. William Meador, left, declines comment when approached by CBS 2's Dave Savini. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Cop In Jail Video Had Prior Record

CBS 2’s Dave Savini tries to talk with some of the police officials who were there when Philip Coleman was stunned repeatedly and dragged in a lockup.

02/12/2016

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

(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

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