The Roy Leonard Show

Saturday & Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12 noon

Roy Announces Retirement

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If it's happening in Chicagoland entertainment, you'll hear out about it from Roy! Find out what's worth seeing, hearing, and doing in movies, video, music, theater, and travel.


AAA Travel Show Sunday mornings from 11 am to 12 noon


Roy Leonard and Nick Digilio review the new movies, Saturdays at 9:30am, sponsored by General Cinema.


Roy Leonard

Roy Leonard has been with WGN Radio since 1967 and marked his 30th anniversary with the station in July, 1997. His radio shows and regular appearances as host and arts critic on television, have made him one of Chicago's most popular sources of information and entertainment.

The question most often asked is, "How does he do it?". Roy actually reads the book before he interviews the author. He sees every major movie and play and attends concerts regularly. Such dedication has caused personalities such as Sally Field, Quincy Jones, Shirley McLaine and the late Charles Kuralt to rate Roy, "the best in his field."

An important aspect of "The Roy Leonard Show" is the introduction of new artists. Listeners to WGN Radio have been the first to hear such diverse talents as Harry Connick, Jr., Billy Joel, Barry Manilow and Carly Simon. Listeners are also treated to relaxing, in depth conversations with a guest list that reads like an international "Who's Who" with such stars as Clint Eastwood, Isabella Rossellini, Tom Cruise, Linda Ronstadt, John Cusack and the late Jimmy Stewart and Ella Fitzgerald.

For diversity, Roy frequently takes his show on the road with trips to Europe. His program has originated from London and Moscow and in the United States, New York, the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Disney Land and Disney World.

Roy's listeners often travel with him as he and his wife, Shelia, host their annual London Theater Tour in October. They've also treated their tour members to a food and wine excursion in France, a trip to Norway for the Bergen Music Festival, an Alaskan Cruise, a week in the Netherlands for the 100th anniversary celebration of Vincent Van Gogh and three memorable excursions behind the Iron Curtain before the Soviet Coup. At least twice a year, the Leonard's offer a New York theater weekend and trips to Canada's Shaw and Stratford Festivals.

On WGN-TV, Roy's movie and theater reviews are a regular feature on the Channel Nine News. From October to April of each year, he hosts "Family Classics" on Sunday afternoons, bringing to the home audience the great films ranging from "Robin Hood" and "Boys Town" to "The Music Man" and "Benji". His specials on New Year's Day the past few years have garnered great ratings opposite the deluge of football bowl games. In April, 1998, Roy hosted WGN-TV's 50th Anniversary special.

Roy's innovative career began in the early fifties at a station in Salem, Massachusetts after attendance at Boston's Emerson College. His success in the commercial market however, was interrupted by Uncle Sam, and a stint in the United States Air Force found him in Nome, Alaska, at an Armed Forces Radio Station. When his duty expired, Roy returned to radio in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, followed by a job in Framingham MA., as an on-air personality and program director.

It was in Framingham that Roy was asked to appear in a local stage production by the Civic League Players. After passing the casting director's audition, he asked her for a date and a year later, on October 11, 1953, Shelia Marie Finn became Mrs. Roy Leonard. The first of their six sons, Kip, was born in 1955, and the following year Roy joined WHDH Radio and TV in Boston, where he hosted two daily radio shows and presented the nightly news on television. In 1958, he joined WNAC Radio and TV in Boston as host of the Morning Show on AM radio and anchor on the Early Evening TV News. He also hosted "Yankee Camera", a Sunday news magazine program on television.

Other Leonard lads arrived in 1956 (Kerry), 1957 (Kolin), 1958 (Kent), 1962 (Kyle), and 1966 (Kelly) and in 1967, along with their six K's, Shelia and Roy moved to Chicago and the long association with WGN Radio was underway.

After six sons, the Leonards now have three granddaughters and a grandson who are frequent visitors to their North Shore home, as all the boys have remained in the midwest in such diverse professions as education, architecture, retailing, banking, publishing and theater.

Roy is on the Midwest Board of the American Foundation for the Blind. He is a past President of the Red Cloud Athletic Fund and a board member of the Chicago Film Critics Association. His interest in food and wine has led to membership of Les Amis d'Escoffier Society and the Chaine de Rotisseurs.

In 1992, Roy won the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Criticism. He also holds a Grammy Award Certificate for his contribution as emcee for the "Tribute To Steve Goodman" and the 1986 Grammy Winning Best Contemporary Folk Recording. From the music industry's leading trade magazine, Billboard, Roy was honored with Best Feature Radio Programming of the Year for his two hour special with Linda Ronstadt.

Each weekend, Roy keeps his listeners up-to-date on what's going on in the world of entertainment. The schedule may change a bit from week to week, but here's a run-down of some of the regular features you'll hear on a typical weekend:


8:10am Family Stuff with Jacky Runice
8:40am Washington DC Report with Michael Killian
9:05am Sports Update with David Kaplan
9:30am New Movies with Nick Digilio
9:55am Hot Tix Report


8:35am New Music with Floyd Crow
9:30am New Videos with Jeff Tuckman
10:30am Theater Segment with Anne Libera

From the Archives

11:30am AAA Travel Segment
(Note: When Roy is preempted due to Three Bears pregame, many of the Sunday segments will be heard on Saturday.)


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