CHICAGO (CBS) — Longtime WLS-AM radio reporter Bill Cameron, the dean of the City Hall press corps, is retiring after a 51 year covering Chicago politics.
Cameron announced Friday morning he will be retiring on Aug. 20, his 21st anniversary at WLS-AM.
“He will share stories and insights from his remarkable tenure covering the good, the bad and the ugly of Chicago politics with 890 WLS-AM listeners on The Bruce St James Show from 5:30am-9:00am, and later on The John Howell Show from 4:00pm-7:00pm,” the station announced in a press release.
Cameron has been covering the City Hall beat since 1970, starting his career with 670 WMAQ, and later joining WLS — beginning his coverage of Chicago politics with Mayor Richard J. Daley, through to Chicago’s first woman mayor, Jane Byrne; the city’s first Black mayor, Harold Washington; the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, Lori Lightfoot; and every other mayor in between, including the younger Mayor Daley, Richard M. Daley.
“The time has come for me to plan my retirement. I’ve enjoyed covering Chicago politics very much, but half-a-century on the day-to-day beat is probably enough. Time to go visit many more national parks!“ Cameron said in a statement.
A graduate of Indiana University, and winner of two Edward R. Murrow Awards and a Peabody Award, Cameron also is celebrated for his archive of recordings of Chicago’s most famous — and infamous — politicians, particularly of the often funny moments when both the elder and younger Mayor Daley frequently tripped over the English language while speaking on the record.
“Among @billjcameron’s many gifts: the ability to ask a mayor a very tough question in such a way as to disarm, so the mayor finds her- or himself responding honestly rather than defensively. He has elicited so many great responses from elected officials during tense situations,” Chicago Tribune political reporter John Byrne wrote on Twitter.
LONG LIVE THE DEAN!
Bill, my man, the City Hall press room will be an infinitely poorer place without your wisdom and levity. The city insists that you continue to run your mayoral quotes programs on a regular basis. We cannot do without those regular doses of Daley. https://t.co/r137m88hgL
— John Byrne (@_johnbyrne) July 23, 2021