Chicago Innovation Judge
Ron Gleason is WBBM Newsradio’s Director of News and Programming, a role he has held since November 2005. Gleason oversaw WBBM’s expansion from its AM only signal on the 780 frequency to a simulcast with 105.9 FM in 2011. Radio Ink magazine has named him one of the nation’s top 10 program directors each of the last two years.
Gleason began his career as a sports broadcaster during his senior year at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He worked full-time at night at Chicago’s Sportsphone. Following his graduation, Ron spent a year in Cheboygan, Michigan at WCBY-AM and FM, and five and a half years at WJOL and WLLI in Joliet before he started his career as a sports reporter and anchor at WBBM in 1985. In 1988, he accepted a sports director position at WMAQ, where he also served as backup play-by-play announcer for White Sox baseball. During that time, Gleason broadcast NCAA basketball and high school championship contests for what was then known as Sportschannel. He stayed for three years at WMAQ, until moving to WSCR, The Score, as the station’s first Director of Sports and Programming in 1991. At WSCR, Gleason oversaw the station’s launch, plus the transition from daytime-only to 24-hours, with two frequency changes and multiple ownerships.
He added radio play-by-play duties for DePaul basketball in 1997, a role he held until taking his current position at WBBM eight years later. Gleason oversaw The Score until 2001, when he joined the on-air Chicago Bears football broadcast team at WBBM, a role he still enjoys 17 seasons later. In 2004, he added news anchor to his resume, and spent time as president of the UBC Radio Network.
Gleason and his wife have two daughters and a barking dog who can be heard loud and clear on Chicago’s North Side.