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 Chiago, Savini worked at WMAQ-TV in Chicago as an investigative reporter (1993-2004). In 2003, Savini won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for his series “Code Blue, Code Red,” which investigated law enforcement officials and exposed 250 drunk-driving offenders among Chicago police officers, firefighters and paramedics. 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 also writes for several area newspapers including the Naperville Sun and the Aurora Beacon News.
Savini, who is an avid chef, 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.
When it comes to deaths, Lake, Will and DuPage counties reported big increases last year. As CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports, drug dealers could be operating right in your own neighborhood.
Naperville police want to talk to anyone who may have used the woman’s bathroom at a particular Naperville restaurant. CBS 2′s Dave Savini reports.
A gas explosion inside a home is being blamed for a man’s death. He had an uncapped gas line which was considered a hazard, yet somehow gas was apparently still provided to the home. A family fighting for two years to find out how this could happen, turned to the CBS 2 Investigators and Dave Savini who has this original report.
Sources say the agents were carrying hand-held nuclear-detection devices that picked up a reading. CBS 2′s Dave Savini reports.
An elderly, dying, man was visited by a car dealer and ended up with a vehicle and a big loan. CBS 2′s Dave Savini investigated the family member and dealership involved in this deal.
A local family has been hit with huge fines by the Illinois Tollway. They say what the state agency is doing is worse than any loan shark or pay day loan scam. CBS 2′s Dave Savini looks at how one family was ordered to pay one extraordinary bill.
Businessmen, college students and body builders are among the people taking this drug, not realizing how addictive and deadly it can be. CBS 2′s Dave Savini takes a look at the drug GHB, which has the street name — Liquid G.
Dave Savini and the 2 Investigators went undercover and found instructor Jose Valdez cashing in while using public school students as free labor.
An Elmwood Park police sergeant has been accused of using his police powers to target women he could seduce, when he was supposed to be working. He also has been accused of targeting the men who are in those ladies’ lives.
He was thrown through the air, and slammed head first to the ground. Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon said he always knew his body would be beaten up by playing football, but he said he did not know the extent of damage being done to his brain.
It should have been the crowning career moment for former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon when he helped his team win the Super Bowl. Instead, McMahon, in a sit-down interview with CBS 2′s Dave Savini, says the experience was a nightmare.
Two families were speaking out Tuesday night, saying a serial killer was allowed to keep killing because of bad work done by police and prosecutors.
CBS 2′s Dave Savini reports on more problems with tempered glass.
For two years, Joe Greco has been battling the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority over $57.60 in missed tolls. When he lost an appeal controlled by the state agency, his bill jumped to $3,000. CBS 2′s Dave Savini reports.
Susan Sandberg’s home was burglarized in September, during the middle of the day. Her burglar alarm system worked, but she says Chicago’s 9-1-1 center failed her.
Steep ramps, broken concrete and inoperable doors are safety and accessibility problems CBS 2′s Investigators uncovered at various Metra train stations.
Why are so many drivers speeding through school zones, especially the ones behind the wheel of those big yellow buses with kids aboard? CBS 2′s Dave Savini reports.
A murder victim’s brother is outraged one of the killers is getting out of prison after serving only about half of his sentence. He contacted Dave Savini and our CBS 2 Investigator’s who looked at this case and who else is getting out of Illinois prisons this year.
Two Chicago police officers are being investigated by the FBI and the Independent Police Review Authority, after beating two brothers at a South Shore storefront. Surveillance footage obtained by our CBS 2 Investigators is at the center of that investigation.
A young child was abused, suffered a head injury, and spent nearly a week in the hospital; two adults were home with the girl at the time, yet no one has been criminally charged.