Frank Whittaker, longtime news boss of Chicago’s NBC-owned station, has been chosen to lead the state’s alliance of television and radio broadcasters.
Whittaker was elected board chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association at the group’s annual conference this week in Bloomington-Normal. He continues as station manager and vice president of news at WMAQ-Channel 5, where he has headed news operations since 1998.
As IBA chairman he succeeds Doug Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Univision Chicago.
“Truth is, there has never been a more important time to extol what we do as broadcasters,” Whittaker told the group. “From reporting what is happening in our local communities, to leading discussions on important issues both locally and nationally, to entertaining our viewers and listeners each and every day.
“Our jobs as broadcasters are vital to the communities we serve. And our ability to inform our viewers, listeners and advertisers of our value is more important than ever.”
Before joining NBC 5 as news director, Whittaker was assistant news director and executive producer at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. While attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he began his career at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2, where he rose from desk assistant to 10 p.m. news producer.
He’s a Chicago area native and graduate of Wheaton Central High School.
In 2016 Whittaker was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.