Jeanne Sparrow has spent three decades in media as an Emmy-winning television host, reporter and radio personality. Jeanne’s career started completely by accident, but it continues on purpose… thanks to good fortune and blessings, hard work at strange hours and an abiding commitment to the joy of telling other people’s stories and helping them bring their words to life.
The majority of Jeanne’s years in broadcasting have been spent in Chicago, but her passion for media was born in high school, when her speech and debate coach sent her to audition – with her best friend – for a job as an announcer on a country-western radio station in her hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana. Jeanne only went because she thought it might be fun if she got the job, and because it was the only way her parents would agree to let her work during the school year, since it was the type of job where she might learn something valuable. Getting that job marked the start of Jeanne’s career path down a yellow brick road of fun and adventures, even though she couldn’t know it at the time.
Jeanne came to the Chicago area to attend Northwestern University, and that’s where she was first heard on Chicago airwaves on WNUR, broadcasting from the basement of Annie May Swift Hall. After graduating with a degree in psychology (a surprisingly helpful degree for a career in media), she went on to work for several Chicago radio stations as host, co-host and news/traffic reporter, including morning shows on WGCI with comedians George Wallace and Steve Harvey and on WLUP with Danny Bonaduce.
Jeanne’s first television appearance was in 1996, covering crowd reaction at the Bud Billiken Back-to-School Parade.
Since then, she has worked as a reporter covering arts, entertainment, lifestyle and traffic and has hosted several entertainment, arts, public affairs and cultural programs, appearing on several network affiliates, including NBC, PBS, UPN, on cable on the Big Ten Network, Comcast Network and Chicago superstation WGN, as well as on United Airlines’ in-flight programming. Most recently, she served for over 7 years as one of the hosts of “You & Me,” a morning news/talk show she launched in 2009 on Chicago’s WCIU.
If you’re not in Chicago, you may have heard Jeanne’s voice on various advertising campaigns airing on television and radio or on websites, phone systems and multi-media presentations for retail, business and instruction. She’s done work for companies as diverse as AT&T, Buick, Coca-Cola, GMC, Kellogg’s, KFC, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Sony, Tide, Wal-Mart, Whirlpool and Yoplait.
Currently, Jeanne is enjoying traveling, spending more time with family and friends, and her work as a communications consultant, providing training and coaching to people who want to improve their skills as public speakers and in their media appearances (more info). Jeanne is available to appear on panels as a guest or moderator, host or emcee events and for speaking engagements (contact us). She also continues to be amazed at how life changes once you no longer wake up at 2am for work.