Voice of Chicago
Steve Bertrand, Jour ’85, has a simple career-building strategy: Always say yes.
It’s what he said to applying for a job with Chicago’s WGN Radio after graduation, despite having spent most of his time at Marquette preparing for a career in TV. He said it again when WGN’s sports department asked him to produce the weekly Chicago Bears football broadcasts and interview then-coach Mike Ditka after each game. “I wasn’t a sports guy,” he says.
“If you have the chance to do something, do it,” advises Bertrand.
That philosophy led him to hosting Meet the Writers audio interviews for five years for barnesandnoble.com. He interviewed some of the world’s top writers — including Stephen King, who called it one of the best interviews he’d ever done.
In addition to his WGN news anchor duties, he hosts the highly successful Steve Bertrand on Books podcast along with the Business Lunch. He has also created Steve Bertrand Travel, organizing and sometimes leading European fundraising vacations for charities and other organizations.
Could he be called an entrepreneur? “I’ve never been a business guy, and that may be the silliest thing I’ve ever heard,” he says and laughs. “But I guess I have become a bit of one.”
Bertrand, who received the Diederich College of Communication 2012 Communicator of the Year Award, was honored in May with a spot on WGN’s Walk of Fame. “Marquette gave me a foundation and an anchor — and a skylight to what was possible,” he says. — Becky Dubin Jenkins