Blackhawks

5 Questions with...Nina Chantele

966117.jpg

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

Facing the Blackhawks in Round One is 'going to be fun' for Robin Lehner

Facing the Blackhawks in Round One is 'going to be fun' for Robin Lehner

Saturday afternoon, after eliminating the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in Game 4 on Friday night, the Blackhawks learned they'll be facing the Vegas Golden Knights and very likely a certain former Hawks goalie in Round One.

Robin Lehner was in net for the Knights in their overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche to help Vegas grab the No. 1 seed in the West for Round One, pitting them against the Blackhawks, who were the No. 12 seed in the qualifying round.

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner unveils new pads

Lehner has seen the majority of the starts in net for the Knights at the beginning of the postseason tournament over three-time Stanley Cup champ Marc-Andre Fleury.

The 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist was traded from Chicago to Vegas ahead of Feb. 24's trade deadline. He was 16-10-5 as a Hawk during the 2019-20 regular season with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage prior to the move.

Related: Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner's birthday cake is unreal

Following Saturday's game, Lehner was asked about facing the Blackhawks and his former goalie partner Corey Crawford in Round One and if playing with them earlier this season carries an advantage.

"I don't know. All I know is it's going to be fun playing them," Lehner said. "They're a very good hockey team and I have a lot of respect for them, the whole organization... but I think I really like it here (with Vegas), we're a great hockey team."

The 29-year-old netminder got off to a hot start with Vegas ahead of the NHL pause on March 12 going 3-0-0 with 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. 

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Blackhawks news and analysis.

AL Central race: For White Sox, solving Indians pitching a tall task but a must

AL Central race: For White Sox, solving Indians pitching a tall task but a must

The Cleveland Indians have the best starting rotation in baseball.

And while that might have been an opinion back before the abbreviated 2020 campaign got underway, it’s a fact at the moment. The Indians’ starting staff leads baseball with a 2.09 ERA and 124 strikeouts. Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale — not to mention Adam Plutko, who’s also made one nice start — have dominated opposing lineups.


Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

Often, they’ve dominated the White Sox lineup.

The South Siders have seen Cleveland’s starting pitchers five times in their first 15 games of the season, and an offense that was talked up as so capable before and since Opening Day has done very little against this superb collection of hurlers. A 2-3 record against the Indians following Saturday’s 7-1 defeat could certainly be much worse. But in five games against them, the White Sox have scored a total of 13 runs. And only five of those came against the starting pitchers.

The first two games of this weekend series at Guaranteed Rate Field have featured more exemplary starting-pitching performances by the Indians. Civale threw seven one-run innings Friday night, and Plesac was again excellent with six shutout innings Saturday afternoon. Neither performance matched what they did against this same White Sox team a little more than a week ago in Cleveland. But it certainly was enough to keep the White Sox bats quiet.

And Bieber, currently running away with the AL Cy Young Award — he’s got an 0.83 ERA and 35 strikeouts in three starts — awaits in Sunday night's nationally televised showdown.

If the White Sox are going to keep pace in the race for the AL Central crown, they’ll need to figure out a way to solve these Indians pitchers.

“These are the types of guys we have to get after,” manager Rick Renteria said after Saturday’s game. “To win, you have to put together the focus, the concentration. It’s not easy, trust me, when you’re facing guys like this. But you have to put things together enough to start a line and keep it moving and scratch away and claw and score a run or two here and there.”

RELATED: White Sox in the thick of it as AL Central race with Indians, Twins heats up

The much discussed White Sox lineup, remade during the offseason with the additions of Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnación and Nomar Mazara and the promotion of Luis Robert, has certainly showed what it’s capable of this season. In the second game of the year, it hung 10 runs on the Minnesota Twins. In back-to-back wins over the Kansas City Royals last weekend, the White Sox exploded for a combined 20 runs on 35 hits.

And granted, this lineup has not been at full strength for even one game this season. The injury bug has chomped down on the White Sox and not let go. Mazara, the team's starting right fielder, started the season on the injured list. Currently, starting shortstop Tim Anderson and starting second baseman Nick Madrigal are on the IL. Encarnación is sidelined, too.

But the White Sox bats have been cool for a bit now, with just nine runs scored in the last five games against the Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. That hasn’t always equaled losses, and they’re 2-3 in those five games, with the pitching coming through to carry the day in certain spots.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, though, a cold snap, a growing list of injuries, three games against Cleveland’s elite pitching and, as Renteria pointed out Saturday, a little fatigue in this most unusual of seasons makes for an unproductive recipe.

“We are facing a club that has solid pitching, really good pitching. And we have to bring our game up,” Renteria said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a little fatigued or tired. Nobody cares about that. The reality is you have to be able to put together and string together really good at-bats, which is not easy to do, but it’s what we have to do.

“I think that maybe today’s game will be a great learning tool for us to understand. No one is going to give us anything. You don’t just turn on and turn off offenses. They are grown through a process, focus, concentration and a prepared attack. When we do that, we are really good.

“For me it’s just a blip. We have to keep playing and keep fighting. There’s not a whole lot of time left, and we are going to try to do the best we possibly can and keep moving forward in a positive direction.”

RELATED: Aaron Bummer latest to join big White Sox contingent on injured list

Since they reported to the South Side in early July for “Summer Camp,” the players have talked about this odd season, how in a 60-game sprint to October every game matters and means a lot. Modest winning streaks and losing streaks can tug an entire season in any direction. Games against division foes mean even more, with each set of 10 games against division rivals representing a full sixth of the schedule.

The White Sox seemed capable of going toe to toe with the Twins and Indians when the season began, though the task was always going to be a tall one. The Twins have one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups, and the White Sox can attest after a pair of opening-weekend thumpings those bats delivered. The Indians have the game’s finest rotation, and the White Sox know that well, too, after five games against their top-flight chuckers.

Despite the dominance of the Cleveland rotation, the two teams have taken turns in second place in the division standings over the first two games of this series. It's not like the AL Central has slipped away from the White Sox just yet.

Indeed, they have the potential to be the most balanced among the group of division contenders, with a potentially potent lineup and a potentially fearsome pitching staff. Injuries are no excuse, especially when the whole league’s going through the same thing, but it’s difficult to live up to that full potential when so many key cogs are on the injured list.

The White Sox won’t use that to wriggle free of any responsibility, of course, and they’ll keep on trying to solve the Twins’ lineup and the Indians’ rotation. If they want to live up to the high expectations they set for themselves before the season started, they’ll have to. There's no other option.

“We’ll have to regroup and go back after them,” Renteria said. “These are the type teams we’ll have to beat. We have to string things together and pull out some victories.”


SUBSCRIBE TO THE WHITE SOX TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.