Preps Talk

5 Questions with...Nina Chantele

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5 Questions with...Nina Chantele

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest: a multi-talented Chicago media star whose popularity continues to grow by the minuteyou name it radio, TV, print, social media, etc. and shes front and center of it!...plus, her passion to succeed in a career and to live life to its fullest in the same breath is a lesson for all of usyou can hear her weekdays on the radio co-hosting The Morning Riot on WGCI 107.9-FM from 5:00-9:00 AM, then she shifts stations for Ninas Show on KISS-FM 103.5 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM; if that werent enough, she can now be seen on WLS-TVs Windy City Live every Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM.simply put, it cant be argued that she just may be Chicagos IT girl...lets get to it then already, here are 5 Questions withNINA CHANTELE!

BIO: Nina Chantele is doing what no other woman in radio has done before. Her roles as co-host of Chicago's WGCI-FM's popular morning show, "The Morning Riot, and midday personality of KISS-FM have made her the first on-air personality to do double duty in a major market. She's even doing two different formats (urban and top 40). Not bad for a woman who never intended to become an on-air personality.

Nina has been rocking a mic since 2002. A feat she attributes to her friend and mentor, radio veteran Rick Party. He noticed something special about the Chicago native and strongly suggested that she turn in an air check to local stations. Two-days later she landed a part-time job at WPWX-FM and within a year was offered her first full-time gig at WMIB-FM in Miami, Florida doing afternoon drive. The former medical billing specialist quickly won over the locals and when the ratings came in she received confirmation that radio truly is her calling. Nina was 1. Offers to voice track WSSP in Charleston, South Carolina and WBTT-FM in Ft. Myers, Florida soon followed. In less than two years in the game this rookie was dominating on three stations! Nina Chantele later moved to KXBT-FM in Austin, TX and then KZZA-FM in Dallas, TX. In 2006, she was asked to return to Chicago as KISS-FM's midday personality and, after three successful years, was offered additional duties with their sister station, WGCI-FM, as part of the "The Morning Riot. Each morning, she uses her wit and charm to compliment her two male co-hosts and then quickly changes studios to fly solo each midday. In 2010, she added reporting the entertainment news twice a week on 'Good Day Chicago' FOX, to her already jam-packed schedule. May 2011, Nina was asked to join ABC Chicago's 'Windy City Live', an ensemble program that filled the 'Oprah' time slot. 'Nina Knows', appears every week delivering the latest in celebrity gossip and trends.

With every move Nina Chantele has proven that she can hold her own and bring in the listeners. Her friendly "you can tell me anything" persona intermingled with infectious humor, informative celebrity interviews and hit songs keeps her listeners tuned in daily to receive their dose of Latina love.

In this male-dominated industry, Nina considers herself a spokesperson for women. She diligently seeks to represent strong, intelligent, successful, driven women, while encouraging others to work hard to achieve their dreams. This multitalented communicator has also proven herself to be a desirable commodity in the voice over arena. She has done hundreds of commercials and even landed the position as the national voice of Sean Jean's fragrance, Unforgivable.

Nina Chantele spends her free time supporting charitable causes, using the powerful medium of radio to bring about positive change. Upon hearing of the unfortunate death of Frankie Valencia, a DePaul honors student, she actively worked to ensure the scholarship set-up in his name would become endowed; the first funds will be distributed in the fall of 2011. She also let her support to Children's Oncology Services and its One Step Program for children with cancer at Campfire Ball 2011, as the master of ceremonies. The event was attended by several Chicago celebrities. And the organization closest to her heart is the Kleo Barrett Angel Foundation, which assists the victims of domestic violence. She has also helped launch an initiative to encourage Chicago students to attend school regularly.

Nina Chantele may have gotten into radio by accident, but it is obvious that this was her destiny. Her exemplary work ethic, natural ability to draw others near and love for her craft has kept her elevating to new heights and setting records!

1) CSNChicago.com: Nina, thanks for taking time out of your extremely busy schedule to chat with us for this edition of CSNChicago.coms 5 Questions with In the intro, I referenced you as Chicagos IT girl, which is tough to dispute with everything youre doing in this city from both a professional, social, and charitable aspect. How do you perceive yourself in the media landscape and do you believe it will be a challenge to maintain the level of popularity youve expertly attained going forward?

Chantele: Thats a great question and I think that answer to that isIm a chameleon. Ive had to blend in with audiences differing in age, race and culture, so Ive become accustomed to changing in order to not only survive, but thrive.

I realized the potential of this ability when I was brought on to work at KISS-FM. My career trajectory leading up to that point had been on urbanhip-hop station and here I was now, a Latina being brought on to a poptop 40 station.

A short time later, I was being courted to join a new morning show on WGCI. The audiences and responsibilities were diverse; the top 40 pop station had me flying solo and the urban station would throw me in the mix with two male comedians. It was in this instance that I came to realize my strength -- I could speak and appeal to different races, genders and age groupsI could be great just by being myself.

Windy City Live added another component by allowing audiences the opportunity to put a face with a name, and reach a broader audience and demographic.

The reality is, Im a Latina from the Southside who grew up in a diverse environment; this taught me to shift gears and change direction in a moments notice. I trust myself and my abilities, so I dont fear the future. Everyone has their own gift and contribution to society. Its important to stay humble and remember no one is better than anyone else. Were all on equal footing.

At the end of the day, what matters to me the most is staying true to my roots. I dont lie about who I am; I never havewhat you see is what you get. Ive always lived my life this so way so if Ive gained popularity like this, that means that people have accepted me. I've always been honest about who I am, I don't put on a front and I think that is a huge factor in why I've been successful. People are smart; they know when you're being fake.

2) CSNChicago.com: Hows the media transition been for you as youre now showcasing your talents on television? Has it been easier or harder than you expected?

Chantele: Its been a smooth transition. I wouldnt say it was easy or hard. Im very thankful to have this opportunity so I just see it as part of my daily routine. I love everything about the process, even running from job to job. And Im very fortunate to have wonderful co-workers at WGCI, KISS-FM and Windy City Live who have embraced me and the diverse audiences who have also accepted me. Its been great, its fun, I love it, and I want to do more of it.

3) CSNChicago.com: Exhaustion has to come into play with everything you have going on in your life. Tell us your three favorite things to do for you on a regular basis.

Chantele: My favorite method of unwinding right now (because its football season) is watching Bears games. I really look forward to those low-key days spent relaxing with family and friends. Outside of that, I love watching my favorite shows. Its a bit of a guilty pleasure because Im already in bed when they air so Ive missed them, but because I DVR shows like Greys Anatomy and Scandal, Ill take a day and just watch everything back-to-back. The last and most important thing I do for myself is look at my fitness and nutrition. Im trying to take better care of myself, so Im starting to get into the fitness magazines and take a closer look at what Im putting in my body.

4) CSNChicago.com: We all know that youre a huge Chicago sports fan. Outside of throwing out the first pitch at White Sox game this past season (which was very cool), what is your most memorable moment at Chicago sporting event and what about it was so special to you personally?

Chantele: That IS my most memorable moment at a Chicago sporting event! I cant even say it was when the White Sox won the World Series because I was still in Dallas at the time. Ill have to say my most memorable moment at a Chicago sporting event is also a full-circle moment. I had just been hired by KISS-FM and I ran into Adewale Ogunleye, who I knew from my time working in Miami. We met when he played for the Dolphins and was now a Bear. He gave me tickets to the first Bears game I ever attended and it was surreal to be back home, attending the game with my brother, who is also a huge sports nut, and be seated at the 50 yd. line.

5) CSNChicago.com: With the holiday season upon us, what would be your dream present to find under your tree this year?

Chantele: Hmmmman engagement ring from a special man who would treat me like his queen for the rest of his life. ;)

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything youd like to promote Nina? Tell usCSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.

Chantele: I have a few so get ready!

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, Tele Guias special holiday issue hits the stands and Ill featured on the cover. For my non-Hispanics, Tele Guia is a weekly magazine geared at the Spanish-speaking community in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

On Thursday, Dec. 20, me and the rest of WGCIs Morning Riot Crew (Tony Sculfield and Leon Rogers) will be doing our part to help underprivileged families. Well be holding a toy drive during our live broadcast at Villa (112 W. 87th St. Chicago). Come out, say hi and do your part to help! Bringing in a new, unwrapped toy not only benefits Claras House, but also gets you 20 off your Villa purchase.

The New Year also brings a new round of episodes on Windy City Live! Im on host chat every Tuesday; the next new episode Ill be on airs January 8, 2013.

Lastly, save the date for Working in the Schools (WITS) Blackboard Affair Friday, February 8, 2013! Ill be mcing the sexy and grown cocktail party featuring a masquerade ball Mardi Gras theme. Guests are encouraged to come in disguise and will be treated to a premium open bar, heavy hors doeuvres, live DJ, raffle, and dancing at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington, Chicago). Im crossing my fingers and hope I win the raffle prize to Vegas (heard the hotel included in the package is the Cosmopolitan)! Proceeds from the Blackboard Affair support WITS Saturday Tutoring program. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears Kicker, Founder & President of The Goulden Touch public charity, will also be in attendance-it doesnt get any better than that!

You can always stay up to date with whats going on with me on my site NinaChantele.com.

Thank you Jeff, and everyone at Comcast SportsNet for this opportunity!

NOTES:

Claras Houses mission is to improve the quality of life for families and community residents without regard to race, religion, or origin. Programs are designed to meet basic needs for employment, housing, health care, and education through training and projects directed at advocacy, social services, empowerment, and self-awareness.

Working in the Schools (WITS) promotes literacy and a love of learning in Chicago Public School elementary students through a volunteer-powered, outcomes-based portfolio of programs. WITS endeavors to bridge the achievement and opportunity gap for underserved students through building connections with positive adult role models. Alongside our teachers and school administrators, WITS works to provide the critical support that our students need to set them on a path toward academic success.

Chantele LINKS

Nina Chanteles official web site

Nina Chanteles main page on WGCI 107.5 FM

Nina Chanteles blog page on 103.5 KISS FM

Nina Chantele on Facebook

Nina Chantele on Twitter

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.