In this very special edition of the INBA Podcast, Margaret Larkin interviews John Drummond. Drummond is a legendary TV journalist who spent three decades reporting for CBS2 Chicago. Drummond earned the nickname “Bulldog” for his tenacious reporting. He is known for his coverage of crime, corruption, and the mob in the windy city. He still returns to what he calls “the magic lantern,” every now and then to provide expert analysis and context to stories on CBS2.
But Drummond didn’t start in the big city. He’s from Eau Claire, Wisconsin and he got his first news job doing radio in Iowa.
He said the first time he watched TV was in 1948 and remembers it was “fascinating.” Despite that, it’s not the career he originally wanted.
Drummond was enthralled by the radio broadcasts of WWII and joined the Air Force for four years. He even considered a career in Navy intelligence. After his service he contemplated getting a law degree because of his interest in high school debate.
Ultimately, he got his start in radio and made the transition into TV for a better paycheck; he had a family of three children to support. Drummond said he welcomed the change, adding you have to be “a ham” to work in TV. He had aspired to work in the Twin Cities, but found an opportunity in Chicago and jumped at the chance.
The “Bulldog” gave us some insight on his favorite stories he’s covered in Chicago, including the mob. He said in his career, Chicago had the most powerful mob faction in the country.
If you love history and perspective, this is an episode you can’t miss.