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CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 is mourning the loss of Bob Wallace, long time Emmy-winning reporter and anchor who injected a little fun into the stories he brought us at CBS 2.
From 1970 until 1991, Wallace entertained CBS 2 News audiences with his unique storytelling. His feature reports took him all around Chicago and beyond — from the crowds of street festivals to the decks of speedboats and even to the middle of a rafter of turkeys on a farm ahead of Thanksgiving.
CBS 2 Vault: Cooking And Carving A Turkey With Bob Wallace
At one point, as you’ll see in the clips above, Wallace even showed off his moves in a segment as he was learning how to disco dance as he was anchoring the “Noonbreak” show with the late Lee Phillip.
As Wallace wrote in a biography for the Chicago Emmys, he came in Chicago in May 1970 to work as a reporter and weekend anchor at CBS 2.
“I was 29 years old, married with two kids and employed at the same network as Walter Cronkite,” Wallace wrote. “I thought I had it made.”
Wallace noted that after graduating from Boston University and prior to arriving at CBS 2, he was first on the air at several radio stations in Massachusetts – and then at WPRO radio in Providence, Rhode Island. Soon afterward, he was also reporting the news on WPRO-TV in Providence.
“Riding with the cops, chasing politicians and interviewing people from all walks of life – I loved it,” Wallace wrote.
Wallace wrote that he moved on to stations in Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia before joining CBS 2 Chicago. Over his nearly 22 years working from our old building at 630 N. McClurg Ct., he transitioned from hard news reporting and the anchor desk to his renowned feature reports.
Wallace also co-hosted CBS 2’s Emmy Award-winning Sunday evening news magazine program “Two on Two” alongside Harry Porterfield, Susan Anderson, Don Craig, and Robin Robinson. The program took Wallace and his co-hosts around Chicagoland and well beyond – from backstage at the Lyric Opera to the Country Music Fan Fair in Nashville, and sometimes even overseas.
Wallace noted that he also roamed the Midwest for the feature reporting series “Backroads,” discovering interesting people and places. And on the old “First Edition” CBS 2 afternoon news show in the late 1980s, Wallace appeared for daily “Where’s Wallace” live shots – which he called “probably the most fun my intrepid camera crews and I had.”
“We managed to ‘go live’ from atop the Hancock building antenna, scudded over the waves while clinging to the deck of a racing sailboat on Lake Michigan, and dangled from a water tower high above the ground while learning rescue techniques with first responders. We did this all with relatively primitive equipment and technology compared with the highly portable gadgets available today,” Wallace wrote. “Along the way, I was fortunate enough to win a handful of Emmys for doing what I loved.”
After moving on from CBS 2, Wallace did some freelance work, established a small video production company, and hosted the City of Chicago public information show “Chicago Works” on the Chicago cable system. He also came back to visit us at CBS 2 from time to time – in 2008, he joined our morning team on the set for our last weekday morning newscast at the McClurg Court building.
Wallace won several Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2019.
Wallace was 80 years old.
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