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Felicia Middlebrooks

felicia middlebrooks medium jpg  Felicia Middlebrooks34-year veteran journalist Felicia Middlebrooks has co-anchored the award winning morning drive program for CBS Radio/WBBM Newsradio 780 since 1984, making her the first woman in America to have survived the highly competitive, male dominated timeslot for a record 26 consecutive years at a network owned station.

Versatile and resourceful, Felicia has won awards for reporting locally, nationally and internationally…from her coverage of Nelson Mandela’s 1990 U-S Tour following his release from a South African prison, her groundbreaking live reports on the aftermath of Rwanda’s 1994 bloody genocide, her live reports from Uganda and the Congo during the civil conflict, the September 11th terrorist attack, live coverage of President Obama’s historic inauguration, live coverage of Michael Jackson’s Memorial, to ‘round the clock recovery efforts in Haiti following a devastating earthquake, where she was the sole embedded journalist with the non-profit “Hospitals for Humanity”, she is not limited to her work behind the anchor desk. And she’s won kudos for her work in obtaining a court order to secure an exclusive jailhouse interview with two American women arrested in Haiti, when a group of missionaries tried to take 33 Haitian children to a Dominican Republic orphanage.

Felicia’s warm signature voice is synonymous with the venerable WBBM Newsradio 780 powerhouse. Her career path has been a string of “firsts”. She was the first woman in the nation to co-anchor mornings for CBS Radio and the first African American in that position. After successfully breaking through the glass ceiling, Middlebrooks paved the way for women to co-anchor mornings at CBS Radio Stations across the country. Working her way through Purdue University as a steelworker, after a 7-year stretch, Felicia graduated with honors, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. In 1982, she was hired at CBS 2/WBBM TV, then took on a freelance position with WBBM Radio in 1983, working in both newsrooms simultaneously. She later joined WBBM Newsradio 780 full time. At age 24, she was the youngest anchor and street reporter hired at WBBM, following work in her native Northwest Indiana at WBAA-FM, WJOB-AM, WGVE-FM and WLTH-AM. This is Felicia’s 28th year with CBS.

Felicia has won scores of awards, including the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in News, Associated Press “Best Reporter Award” and awards from United Press International, Women in Communications, The National Urban League, National Association of Black Journalists and American Women in Radio & Television. She also received the Peter Lisagor Excellence in Journalism Award for reporting and awards from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.

Very active in the community, Felicia has just been named one of “50 Women of Excellence 2010” by the Chicago Defender. She’s also been honored by the March of Dimes, The League of Black Women, The Illinois Judicial Council, Lions Club, YMCA, YWCA, and she received the prestigious Toastmasters International “Leadership in Communication” Award. She’s also been include in the Who’s Who Among International Women in Cambridge, England and has been featured in the American Journalism Review, CNN’s American Morning, Chicago Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Screen Magazine and she’s a frequent guest on TLN Total Living Network Christian Television.

Frequently on the lecture circuit, Felicia has mentored scores of aspiring young journalists. As an adjunct professor, she teaches courses at DePaul University and Purdue University Calumet, where she was named Outstanding Alumnus of 2003. In 2006, she was inducted into the International Press Club’s Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame. Felicia also accepted Advisory Board positions with Columbia College’s School of Journalism, DePaul University’s School of Communications and Purdue University’s School of Liberal Arts.

Felicia runs her own production company, Saltshaker Productions, LLC with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles on the original Warner Bros. lot. Her first documentary film, “Somebody’s Child: The Redemption of Rwanda” won first place for “Best Documentary Short” in the 2005 New York International Film & Video Festival. She’s also a published author. Her work is featured in “Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace”, “Our Voices: Issues Facing Black Women in America” (both published by Moody, Summer and Fall 2009), “Souls of My Sisters” (Kensington Publishing 2001, re-released 2008), “Professional News Writing (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishing) and “Called”, the personal account of Lisa Jefferson, the Verizon Supervisor who took Todd Beamer’s call just before United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11th. “Called” is being included in the 2010 library of the USS New York, the naval ship built with materials and remnants from the 9-11 World Trade Center bombing, with personal inscriptions from Felicia and Lisa Jefferson.

Felicia lives near north with her husband Anthony, and their two fur-children, a pair of cocker spaniels.

Tens of thousands of people gather at Amahoro Stadium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rwanda Genocide: 20 Years Later

This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide where a million people were slaughtered while the world watched and did nothing.

04/08/2014

333 N. Michigan Ave.

Report: Wirtz Family To Renovate Historic Downtown Building; Retail Tenants Must Go

A plan to renovate a historic downtown building will benefit the prominent Chicago family that owns it, but it may not be such good news for those who pay the rent.

CBS Chicago–09/26/2012

Smoke Detector (Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Importance Of Smoke Detectors Emphasized As Fire Prevention Week Approaches

The second week in October is Fire Prevention Week – a great time to make sure your home is ready in case of emergency.

WBBM Newsradio–09/22/2012

The quarter horses once owned by Dixon's former comptroller will soon be up for sale. (CBS)

Former Dixon Comptroller’s Horses Now Up For Auction

Scores of horses purchased by a government official who’s accused of absconding with millions of dollars can now be yours, if you have the cash.

WBBM Newsradio–09/07/2012

Weather

Heat, Ozone Levels Prompt Warning For Asthma Sufferers

Sweltering heat and unhealthy ozone levels are on tap for the rest of the day Saturday – a brew that usually is not good news for people with asthma.

CBS Chicago–08/25/2012

A Man Uses A Computer Mouse. (AP Photo)

New Law Protects Users Of Online Dating Sites

Illinois now has a new law to keep you safe when you date online.

CBS Chicago–08/24/2012

Tollway

Toll Hike Has Not Brought Anticipated Mass-Exodus From Tollways

Tolls went up in Illinois nearly a year ago, but if you think most drivers took alternate routes to avoid paying more, you’d be wrong.

CBS Chicago–08/24/2012

Movies

Alleged Movie Bootlegger Busted; Suspected to Be Part Of International Ring

CHICAGO (CBS) — A movie bootlegger has had his last run. As WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, Gerardo Arellano, a suspect in a global movie piracy ring has been arrested in Chicago. LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s [...]

07/23/2012

File Photo Of An Air Conditioner (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Elgin Teen Charged With Using Stranger’s Apartment As Cooling Center

An Elgin teen is accused of using a stranger’s apartment as a cooling center during the sweltering heat wave Tuesday.

CBS Chicago–07/19/2012

Lee Swan

Man Charged With Impersonating Alderman In Scheme To Raise Money

A West Garfield Park neighborhood man apparently believed he looked enough like an alderman – or that enough people had no clue what the alderman in question looked like – to go around impersonating the city lawmaker.

CBS Chicago–07/03/2012

Best Gyms In Chicago

Study: Nylon, Spandex Leggings Help Prevent Muscle Aches

Millions of Americans have committed to a new regimen of diet and exercise on this, the first weekend of the New Year.

01/07/2012

(credit: Getty Images)

Study: How Often You Drink, Impacts Your Risk Of Cancer

With the holidays approaching, more people might be drinking alcohol. How often you drink, impacts your risk of cancer.

11/19/2011

(AP File Photo)

Companies Still Hiring In Chicago, Nationwide

So, it’s the 4th quarter, and you might think no one’s hiring right? Wrong. There are companies that are hiring in November.

11/05/2011