Sportscaster Peggy Kusinski wins Ring Lardner Award

Peggy Kusinski

Veteran Chicago sportscaster Peggy Kusinski has been named broadcast recipient of the 2019 Ring Lardner Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism.

Named for the world famous sportswriter, humorist and satirist, the award will be presented April 18 at Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard.

Mike Downey

Honored with a Ring Lardner Award in the print category will be Mike Downey, a retired sportswriter who wrote the Chicago Tribune's "In the Wake of the News" column originated by Lardner in 1913; and honored in the posthumous category will be Lacy J. Banks, a sportswriter for the Sun-Times from 1972 until his death in 2012.

"I’m a little embarrassed to receive such an honor named for one of the greatest sportswriters to ever work in Chicago," Kusinski said. "I’ve always admired the writers who cover Chicago teams and tried to bring some of that type of coverage to local sports television news. But I should not be mentioned in the same sentence with the great Ring Lardner. Though I will say we both used athletes voices as a way to connect with the sports audience.

Lacy J. Banks

"And I’m grateful to follow in his and in former sportscaster Jeannie Morris’ shoes in this great sports city."

Kusinski, a native of Chicago’s Northwest Side and graduate of Resurrection High School and Southern Illinois University, joined NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 as a sports reporter and anchor in 2000 after working as a sports talk show host at ESPN Radio WMVP 1000-AM and the former WMAQ 670-AM. She began in Chicago as a sports anchor for CLTV.

The awards, founded in 2002 by the Chicago Athletic Association, honor broadcasters and writers who “exemplify the wit and warmth of Ring Lardner’s writing.” Proceeds from the event benefit the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs.

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