One of the most energetic and exciting voices of the National Football League, Jeff Joniak enters his 12th season behind the microphone as the play-by-play announcer of the Chicago Bears in 2012.
Joniak’s passion for the game and for the Bears is linked to a 26-year association with Chicago sports fans. Joniak has hosted the Chicago Bears game day broadcasts since 1997, serves as WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM′s Director of Sports Operations while maintaining his afternoon drive-time sports anchor shifts.
Additionally, Joniak hosts “The Bears Insider” radio show on WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM with Bears head coach Lovie Smith each Monday night during the season. On game days, Joniak and Bears analyst Tom Thayer co-host Bears produced television shows, “Bears Game Day Live” and “Bears Game Night Live”. During the season, Joniak also writes a column for the Daily Herald, and pens his weekly “Keys to the Game” on ChicagoBears.com and CBSChicago.com.
Joniak and the Bears Radio staff earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award and the Associated Press Award for “Best Sports Reporting” for their coverage of Super Bowl XLI, the Silver Dome Award for “Best Play-by-Play” in 2006, and a 2007 regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for the Bears Radio pre-game feature “Joniak’s Journal” which focused on the difficulties experienced by Bears receiver Rashied Davis growing up in California during the “L.A. riots”.
Throughout the year, Joniak is asked to emcee many different events related to his work with the Bears including the National Football Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony, the Ed Block Courage Award ceremony, the annual Bears Care Gala.
Before tackling Halas Hall, Joniak co-hosted the game day broadcasts for the Chicago Bulls during their championship years from 1991 to 1996. For the gripping coverage of the death of Walter Payton, Joniak and his staff won a prestigious Peter Lisagor Award. He also won two Lisagor awards for his coverage of the NFL Draft, AP awards for his sportscasts and Bears pre-game features.
Jeff’s first broadcasting job was at SportsPhone in Chicago, followed by stops at the Tribune Radio Network, Illinois News Network, CLTV, and Metro Networks where he started the sports department. It was at the old WMAQ Radio that Jeff became Sports Director, worked on the Bulls broadcasts, anchored morning drive, and started with the Bears in 1997, as co-host of the pre- and post-game shows.
A 1980 graduate of Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, and a 1984 Broadcast Journalism graduate of Iowa State University.
By Jeff Joniak First Impressions I’m pleased to see Michael Ford make the final 53. From his first practice in the rookie mini-camp, his speed and running style was attention-grabbing. He only left LSU a [...]
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Sneak in, charge in, or fold up the tent.
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When I think of a physical defense, I think of linebackers, pass rushers, and safeties playing with reckless abandon. Not cornerbacks.
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It’s telling that before being named NFC defensive player of the week in consecutive games for his performance against Jacksonville and Detroit, Charles Tillman had not been recognized for his work since 2005.
Jeff Joniak provides his keys to Monday night’s game against the Lions.