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Illini Media Hall of Fame - 2008

Charlie Meyerson

WPGU: 1973-77. DJ, reporter, news anchor

University of Illinios: Bachelor of Science in journalism, 1977, Master of Science in journalism, 1978.

Inducted: 2008


Though he began his career as a DJ and news reporter for WPGU in the 1970s, Charlie Meyerson says switching from radio to the Internet was his ultimate leap of faith – and his most worthwhile career move.

Years before the Internet craze struck many of his colleagues, listeners and readers, Meyerson became convinced the Internet was the best tool for journalists who believed in the power of stories told well.

When he left Chicago's airwaves after almost 20 award-winning years at WXRT-FM and WNUA-FM, Meyerson went to work at the Chicago Tribune's Web operation, rising to his current position as a senior producer and Daywatch columnist at chicagotribune.com.

Meyerson has also dedicated himself to helping students and aspiring journalists. From his first job at WMRO-AM/WAUR-FM in Aurora, Ill., to the Chicago Tribune's newsroom, he has mentored students in all mediums and convinced them his mantra — "This is the best time in history to become a journalist" — really is true. And Illini Media students have benefited as well: Meyerson has lent his talents to a number of events, graciously given tours and hosted students at the Tribune.

His work at the Chicago Tribune and his strong belief in the power of purely compelling stories have set Meyerson apart in the industry, regardless of medium. As he told Chicago Radio Spotlight's Rick Kaempfer in 2007, "These days, if you have something true to say – and I mean 'true' here broadly; not just 'truthful' or 'factual,' but also 'truly funny,' or 'truly moving,' or 'truly beautiful' – this new digital world empowers you to communicate it to anyone, anywhere, regardless of medium. ... All you need is a way with words or sound or pictures and a library card to use a computer."

Note: This bio was written in 2008, and reflects the Hall of Famer’s career to that point.