Felicia Middlebrooks, Founder and President of Hollywood Comes to Chicago

Recognized for her warm signature voice, 29-year veteran journalist Felicia Middlebrooks has co-anchored the award winning Morning Drive Program for CBS Radio/WBBM Newsradio 780 since 1984, making her the first woman in Chicago to have survived the highly competitive timeslot for a record 21-years.

She was the first woman in the nation to co-anchor mornings for CBS Radio and the first African American in that position. She successfully broke the longstanding all male dominated barrier and today, women now co-anchor mornings at all CBS/Infinity Radio Stations across the country. Her early days in radio began in her native Northwest Indiana, where she worked at WBAA-FM, WJOB-AM, WGVE-FM and WLTH-AM before coming to Chicago. Working her way through Purdue University as a steelworker, after a 7-year stretch, Felicia graduated with honors, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. In 1982, she was hired at CBS 2/WBBM TV, then took on a freelance position with WBBM Radio, working in both newsrooms simultaneously. She later joined WBBM Radio full-time, becoming the station’s youngest female anchor/reporter.

Chosen from among the nation's top journalists, The William Randolph Hearst Foundation has selected Felicia to serve as one of 9 judges in its prestigious annual print, photo-journalism and broadcast Awards competition in San Francisco. Students from America's top colleges and universities compete for scholarship money. Felicia will serve as a Broadcast judge for the next 4-years.
Felicia has won scores of awards, including the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in News, Associated Press “Best Reporter Award”, and kudos from United Press International, Women in Communications, Urban League, American Women in Radio & Television, Peter Lisagor Excellence in Journalism, National Association of Black Journalists and Illinois News Broadcasters. Very active in the community, Felicia has also been honored by the March of Dimes, the League of Black Women, The Illinois Judicial Council, Lions Club, YMCA, YWCA, and in 2002, she received the prestigious Toastmasters International “Leadership in Communication Award.” She’s also been included in the Who’s Who Among International Women in Cambridge England. Frequently on the lecture circuit, Felicia has mentored scores of young people with aspirations of becoming journalists. Recently taking on the role of Professor, she now teaches a course in Broadcast News at Purdue University Calumet, where she was named Outstanding Alumni of 2003.

Felicia also runs her own production company, Saltshaker Productions, LLC with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. She’s also a published author. In 2001, her work was featured in a best selling collection of essays titled Souls of My Sisters (Kensington Publishing). Felicia is a former Society Columnist for the quarterly magazine published by the National Religious Broadcasters, based in Manassas, VA. Her work has also appeared in the popular college textbook, Professional Newswriting (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishing). She’s currently working on a non-fiction inspirational book titled, Everything I Know About Life, I Learned in Radio: Everyday Lessons for Every Life. In 2006, her new book Anointed for the Call will be published by Moody Publishing. It is the personal September 11th account of Lisa Jefferson, the woman who took Todd Beamer's call just before United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.

Felicia serves on the Board of Directors for three non-profit organizations: “Hands of Hope”, dedicated to meeting the critical needs of women and children worldwide who face disease, poverty or persecution; “WINGS: Women in Need Growing Stronger”, an agency that assists victims of domestic violence, and “Children’s Home and Aid Society” (CHASI), an agency which provides help to challenged parents, and offers placement for children removed from abusive home environments.

Having returned from a riveting trip to Rwanda, Africa, in Spring 2004, Felicia has received accolades for her groundbreaking special reports on the 10th Anniversary of the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, in which a million people were slaughtered. She just wrapped up production on her first Documentary Film Somebody's Child: The Redemption of Rwanda, and has been asked to serve as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as agents work to find human rights violators tied to the Rwandan tragedy.


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