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.
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 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.
The structures were missing what could be critical hardware to help secure these massive shelters. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Just how desperate is Chicago for money? CBS 2’s Dave Savini shows one technique the city is using.
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.
One Chicago couple’s unnerving encounter may not be an isolated incident. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Homeland Security has launched an investigation into the document CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposes in this Original Report.
So, why is this happening? CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has some answers in this Original Report.
How is it doing this and why? CBS 2’s Dave Savini this original report.
The tiny rubber pellets, used sometimes in athletic fields, often contain cancer-causing chemicals. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
It starts when you get a call from someone who knows all about your medical records and what medications you take.
Passengers must navigate leaks and slippery floors at Chicago’s passenger rail stations. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
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.
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.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini found the dumpster, alerted authorities and Tuesday, the Illinois Attorney General filed a lawsuit that could result in millions of dollars in fines.
She wants to know how this could happen and how it could go undiagnosed for years – leaving her in constant pain.
Flakka is targeted to young people with its cheap high, which costs just $3 to $5. CBs 2’s Dave Savini reports.
The Cook County Independent Inspector General calls it a clear ethics violation. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
(CBS) — Federal authorities are going after the owner of a Chicago-area smoke shop where synthetic drugs were sold. A local teen was killed after using drugs sold under the name iAroma, a form of […]
CBS 2 Investigative Reporter Dave Savini looked at the company’s safety record with the U.S. Department of Transportation.