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.

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.


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.


(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.


Illinois coach Tim Beckman. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

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.


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.


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.


Tierney Darden (Family Photo)

Family Sues City After Daughter’s Spine Severed By Falling Pedestrian Shelter

Tierney Darden and her family were standing outside O’Hare on Aug. 2 when a storm swept in, and they tried to take cover from the hail and high winds by ducking under a massive pedestrian shelter. The shelter, with rusted brackets and bolts missing, blew over, and crashed on top of the 24-year-old dancer.



2 Investigators: Rusted O’Hare Shelters Remain, After Accident That Paralyzed Woman

The structures were missing what could be critical hardware to help secure these massive shelters. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


Parking Ticket

2 Investigators: Cash-Strapped City Reaching Back To Decades-Old Parking Tickets

Just how desperate is Chicago for money? CBS 2’s Dave Savini shows one technique the city is using.


Glass from a shattered oven door. (Credit: CBS)

Exploding Oven Glass Bigger Problem Than Previously Thought

Now a national watchdog advocacy group called the The Safety Institute revealed new stats going back four years that show 337 complaints involving Kenmore oven glass doors exploding. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


Clown At Rosehill Cemetery

2 Investigators: Creepy Clown Trespasses At Chicago Cemetery, In Dead Of Night

One Chicago couple’s unnerving encounter may not be an isolated incident. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


An ISIS terrorist handbook. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: ISIS Manual A Roadmap For Homegrown Terrorists

Homeland Security has launched an investigation into the document CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposes in this Original Report.


Glass from a shattered oven door. (Credit: CBS)

2 Investigators: Glass Oven Doors Shattering Without Warning

So, why is this happening? CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has some answers in this Original Report.


Dabiq, a magazine created by ISIS. (Credit; CBS)

2 Investigators: ISIS Finding Innovative Ways To Find New Recruits

How is it doing this and why? CBS 2’s Dave Savini this original report.


Crumb rubber samples (CBS)

2 Investigators: New Research Raises Safety Concerns About Crumb Rubber

The tiny rubber pellets, used sometimes in athletic fields, often contain cancer-causing chemicals. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.



2 investigators: Scammers Utilizing Medical Records To Fool Victims

It starts when you get a call from someone who knows all about your medical records and what medications you take.


Metra commuters have to deal with slippery floors because of leaks at Chicago's train stations. (CBS)

2 Investigators: Rail-Station Ruins Put Commuters At Risk

Passengers must navigate leaks and slippery floors at Chicago’s passenger rail stations. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


David Sroge (CBS)

2 Investigators: Name-Changing Contractor Focus Of Fraud Complaints

David Sroge is a repeat felon. His arrests include thefts and deception in both Illinois and Indiana, where, in 2012, he allegedly took nearly $9,000 from a senior citizen for work he did not do. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.


These are some of the items seized at Chicago airports. (CBS)

2 Investigators: The Crazy Things People Try To Get Past Airport Security

Everything from guns to martial-arts throwing stars to brass knuckles to corkscrews. CBS 2’s Dave Savini explains what authorities do with the items.