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 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; 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.
A Chicago family says they were left traumatized after police burst into their home with guns drawn and pointed, even at children.
A Cook County Jail inmate who swallows any metal objects he can find has cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
CBS 2 Investigators found a danger, citywide. Warning tiles installed at crosswalks to help pedestrians are crumbing and becoming hazards at busy intersections.
A horrible fall, causing head trauma, has Carol Bavcevic speaking out about broken tree grates along city sidewalks tripping up pedestrians. CBS 2’s Dave Savini investigates the hazard.
Broken, unsecured grates around trees in Chicago move when stepped on and protrude above the sidewalk. Bavcevic tripped on one, fell on her face and suffered a head injury, facial bruising and a massive forehead lump she can still feel more than a year later.
An inside look into the growing seizures of synthetic marijuana being shipped in from other countries. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposes the dangers and the new technology being used to quickly identify the drugs then track down and capture the dealers.
Video of fallen Chicago Firefighter Juan Bucio’s final moments is raising new questions about the rescue operation that cost him his life Monday night in the Chicago River.
Bucio’s deputy chief describes the sadness in the Chicago Fire Department today saying it is a tragic day, as flags lowered at the firehouse. Many describe the fallen firefighter as one of the best.
The CBS 2 Investigators expose law enforcement confiscating money – even when there is no crime. One man lost tens of thousands of dollars and reached out to CBS 2’s Dave Savini.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini tracks drivers violating road safety and talks to a man severely injured and suing the company.
Nicky O’Toole has autism and struggles to communicate. For months, when he was just nine years old, he was hit and threatened by his school bus aide and driver. CBS 2’s Dave Savini exposes the video and all that happened to this child.
The popular home improvement chain posts a no pets allowed warning. The child’s family sits down with CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini and wants to know why the policy is not enforced.
Pam Knight was brutally beaten by a suspected child abuser as she attempted to rescue a two-year-old boy. She was in a coma, left disabled, then died from her injuries. Her husband wants to know why she and other DCFS workers do not ALWAYS have police backup.
At the hospital that same night Angela Darsham met other families affected by the rat poison-laced drugs.
An hour before he was going to apply the decals, Jake Zaagman says the custom order was cancelled and he was left with the materials.
The CBS 2 Investigators have video of a food delivery driver dropping off a meal, then walking off with a package. The victim said no one would help, until CBS 2’s Dave Savini got involved.
Karen Dobner’s son was in a fatal crash after ingesting a form of synthetic marijuana he bought at a shopping mall. CBS 2’s Dave Savini has this follow-up.
Interference with GPS satellites could take out 9-1-1 systems, make ATM machines useless, ground airplanes and disrupt the electrical grid.
Falling light poles have injured people and damaged property in Chicago. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Sean and Lauren Burnetter almost had to cancel their wedding because they say the person they paid to plan the event took off with their money nine days before the big day.
Bedridden Letasha Mims was not able to consent to sex, her mother says. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
The terror attacks in Europe appear to have influenced security plans for New Year’s Eve in Chicago. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
New potential dangers were found just months after the city of Chicago was ordered to pay $148 million to a young woman left paralyzed when an O’Hare Airport bus shelter fell on top of her.
Reynobod PE, which contains a Polyethylene core, is the same kind of exterior metal paneling blamed for helping fuel the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower in London.
After the 2 Investigators got involved, the Illinois Secretary of State took a closer look at Tessone Motors in Lockport.
Marines battling cancer say they were kept in the dark about carcinogen-laced drinking water at Camp Lejeune. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports on the tragic story of Corey Walgren.
A 57-year-old Multiple Sclerosis patient says two men in a white van drove her to Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission and left her at the front gate, in the middle of the night.
During the appeal process, the city will be charged nearly a quarter million dollars a month in interest. CBS 2’s Dave Savini reports.
Officer Patrick Kelly, who is on paid leave, is accused of shooting his friend in the head — an incident he said was an attempted suicide. CBS 2’s Dave Savini has been following the case.