Class Notes Profile: Broadcast Journalist

Dominick Stasi keeps WGN News in top form

“I still get butterflies on those big news days when so many people are working together to produce a great night of television,” says WGN-TV News Director Dominick Stasi. (Image courtesy of Dominick Stasi)
Dominick Stasi keeps WGN News in top form

As a student at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Ill., Dominick Stasi, ’01 MEDIA, was fascinated by television news. So when Stasi arrived at Illinois in 1997, he headed right to the broadcast journalism program. There, he received hands-on training in writing and directing, set lighting and even positioning an anchor.

“The program and professors were great; they really prepared us well,” Stasi says. “It could be nerve-wracking, but it was rewarding.”

In such a competitive industry, beginners can expect to ply their trade in small markets while waiting for a bigger opportunity. Stasi worked first as a producer in Springfield, Mo., and then as an assignment editor in Milwaukee. “The goal was always to get back to Chicago,” he says.

Stasi checked off that box before he turned 30—first at CLTV, then at the city’s NBC and FOX affiliates before landing at WGN-TV in 2013 as executive producer. There, his work with colleagues garnered two regional Emmy Awards. Last January, Stasi was named the station’s news director, taking charge of the largest TV and digital news operation in the nation’s third-largest market.

Stasi credits his success to “the talented people who know what it takes to put together amazing broadcasts. Our station does 13 hours of live programming every weekday, and most of it is news.”

Just weeks after stepping into his new role, Stasi faced his biggest career challenge: keeping the operation running smoothly during the pandemic. “With COVID-19, people are going above and beyond,” he says. “I’m really proud of the way the whole team has banded together.”