Felicia Middlebrooks

WBBM Morning News 5 - 10am

Felicia Middlebrooks has broken barriers and opened doors for women in radio across the country.  She was the first woman and first African American in the nation to co-anchor Morning Drive News for CBS Radio. A test case and a game changer, she successfully altered the all-male paradigm in 1984.  Now, women co-anchor morning drive at all CBS radio stations nationwide.

At age 24, she was the youngest anchor and street reporter hired at WBBM.  For the past 33 years, Felicia has co-anchored news for WBBM Newsradio/CBS, Chicago’s number one station.  The veteran journalist has won numerous awards for her reporting locally and abroad.  She delivered special reports live from Haiti in the aftermath of that nation’s 2010 earthquake and an exclusive Haiti jailhouse interview with two female American missionaries.  She won humanitarian awards for her coverage on the ground of the aftermath of Rwanda’s genocide, the aids crisis in Uganda and civil conflict in Congo.  For a time, she served as a consultant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, as authorities searched for perpetrators of Rwanda’s genocide.  She also reported from Egypt on the shaky 2014 ceasefire agreement between Palestine and Israel, and when Nelson Mandela made his first journey to the U.S., after he was freed from a South African jail, Felicia was sent to Detroit to deliver live reports.  In 2015, she journeyed to Cuba a few months ahead of the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy, and brought back rich stories on that nation’s culture and impending transition, earning her the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in News.

Felicia has won scores of other awards, including, American Women in Radio and Television, Women in Communications, United Press International and the Associated Press.  She’s also been featured in the American Journalism Review and appeared on CNN’s American Morning.  After a 7-year stretch of working her way through school as a steelworker, Felicia earned a Bachelor of Communications Degree from Purdue University in 1982.  She returned to Purdue and earned her MBA in 2014.   She also earned a degree in Film in 2017 from Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago, affiliated with Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Institute in New York.

In 2015, Felicia was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Headline Club (Society of Professional Journalists-Sigma Delta Chi).  She’s also been inducted into the International Press Club’s Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.  Felicia runs her own company, Saltshaker Productions, LLC with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Her first documentary film, “Somebody’s Child:  The Redemption of Rwanda”, won first place Documentary Short in New York’s International Film and Video Festival.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Zeta Theta Chapter, Women in Film, League of Black Women and the Society of Professional Journalists.  She is also a Sustaining Trustee for the Children’s Home and Aid Society and an honorary board member for the domestic violence non-profit WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger).  Felicia is also a published author.  She wrote “Called”, the personal account of Lisa Jefferson, the Verizon Supervisor who took Todd Beamer’s call just before United Flight 93 crashed on 9/11.

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 Northwest, where she was named Outstanding Alumni of 2003.   Felicia has Advisory Board positions with Columbia College’s School of Journalism, DePaul University’s School of Communications and Purdue University’s School of Liberal Arts.  She’s also on the Chicago Headline Club (Society of Professional Journalists) Foundation Advisory Board.