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

Preview: White Sox host Cubs in Crosstown Classic Monday on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Cubs in Crosstown Classic Monday on CSN

The White Sox take on the Cubs in the Crosstown Classic tonight, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with an hour-long White Sox Pregame Live at 6:00 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight's starting pitching matchup: Miguel Gonzalez (2-5, 4.41 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.60 ERA)

White Sox HR leaders Cubs HR leaders
Todd Frazier (28) Kris Bryant (25)
Brett Lawrie (12) Anthony Rizzo (24)
Jose Abreu (11) Ben Zobrist (13)

Looking Ahead:

Date White Sox Cubs
Tuesday James Shields (4-12, 4.99 ERA) Kyle Hendricks (9-6, 2.27 ERA)
Wednesday Jacob Turner (0-1, 14.73 ER Jason Hammel (9-5, 3.35 ERA)
Thursday TBD TBD

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

Bears mix of QB Jay Cutler with OC Dowell Loggains still a critical work in progress

Bears mix of QB Jay Cutler with OC Dowell Loggains still a critical work in progress

Back in January, before the Bears promoted Dowell Loggains from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, CSNChicago.com took an advance look at Loggains and how he might fit with Jay Cutler were the Bears to make Loggains yet another in the long list of coordinators for Cutler. With the start of training camp at hand, a longer look at this pivotal coach-player situation comes into focus.

No change made by the Bears this offseason carries the weight of the one moving Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator to replaced departed Adam Gase. Quarterback Jay Cutler is coming off the best statistical season of his career, founded on the ball-security foundation instilled by Gase and Loggains. The Gase-to-Loggains succession plan projects to catapult Cutler, and with him the offense, to a next level.

Not necessarily.

For now, as they were when Mike Martz, Aaron Kromer and others took the Chicago O.C. job, all the right things are being said:

From Loggains on Cutler’s improvement under Gase and himself: “I don’t think Adam or I should take the credit,” Loggains said. “I think Jay made the choice to improve and work on the things that we asked him to work on. And I hope that process continues.”

From Cutler: “I’ve known Dowell like I’ve known Adam, for a long time… . The backbone of this offense is still the same. Even if Adam was here I think we still would have changed some stuff and got better in certain areas. So we’re just kind of continuing down that road.”

But Cutler having a positive relationship with an incoming coach means…nothing.

Indeed, his history is not encouraging, even with coaches he ostensibly thought highly of coming in, even ones already on staff or had worked with him previously.

Mike Tice was promoted from offensive line coach to coordinator when Mike Martz was fired after the 2011 season, Cutler’s previous best for avoiding interceptions. Tice had been instrumental in balancing the offense in 2010 when Martz’s schemes and protections were getting Cutler annihilated.

But by mid-2012, Cutler’s relationship and communications with Tice had deteriorated to the point of backup Josh McCown needing to serve as go-between.

Notably, the 2012 friction was developing even as the Bears were on their way to a 10-6 season, and with Jeremy Bates having been hired as quarterbacks coach. That was based in part on Bates’ relationships with Cutler from a 2006-08 overlapping stint with the Denver Broncos. Cutler’s relationship with Tice was toxic, and Bates went down along with Tice and the rest of Lovie Smith’s staff after that season.

The Bears have added Dave Ragone, a member of the Tennessee Titans staff with Loggains and having played two NFL games in 2003. But the Bears’ offense will turn on the Cutler-Loggains axis and it relationship elements, both football and inter-personal.

“There’s definitely some honesty there,” Cutler said, smiling. “He’s not afraid to tell me when I’m completely wrong and rightfully so. I like to tell him whenever I think we’re not doing things right or we need to change things.

“I think at the core of that we kind of cut through some stuff and we get things done a little bit quicker… .No one’s really sensitive. We just try to get it done.”

When Gase talked, Cutler listened. Will Cutler’s receptors stay open when something goes wrong, as something invariably will sometime in an NFL season? That is on Cutler, and his openness to yet another coordinator was at the root of his improvement to a career-best passer rating of 92.3.

[SHOP: Buy a Jay Cutler jersey here]

Loggains has been notably vocal during open practices, with more than Cutler alone. That is a departure from Gase’s demeanor, although Gase was more than capable of tough love when anyone on his side of the football needed it.

“I think it’s a mutual respect,” Loggains said of his Cutler relationship. “I think I respect him and he respects me. I think that when you have that mutual respect then all dialogue is legal. So whatever I say to him, he knows where it’s coming from and vice versa.”

Cred issues?

Some questions hanging over Loggains have less to do with Loggains himself, but rather his background.

Gase came to the Bears from two years as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos under John Fox. Gase, quarterbacks coach for the preceding two seasons, moved into that job when Mike McCoy was hired to coach the San Diego Chargers.

The Denver gig included three seasons working with Peyton Manning. While Manning needed scant coaching at that point in his career, the point was less how much Gase coached Manning as much as what Gase brought with him from his time with Manning. Gase knew from up close what a Hall of Fame quarterback looked like.

Loggains’ NFL career stops have accorded him time with no one approaching Manning’s stature. Not surprisingly, in time with three different teams, Loggains has not been involved with an offense that ranked in the top half of the league:

Year Team Job Offense results
2015 Bears QB 21st ydg, 21st pass, 23rd pts.
2014 Browns QB 27th pass, 27th pts.
2013 Titans O.C. 21st ydg, 21st pass, 19th pts.
2012 Titans QB/O.C. 26th ydg, 22nd pass, 23rd pts.
2011 Titans QB 17th ydg, 15th pass, 21st pts.

The Tennessee Titans’ quarterbacks during Loggains’ years there were Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. The 2014 Browns put up the seventh-highest passing yardage in franchise history, with Brian Hoyer, Connor Shaw and Johnny Manziel as their quarterbacks.

No slight of any of the quarterbacks, but a point around Loggains might be not how little the offenses achieved in his time with them, but rather, how much.

“I think that I’ve had an opportunity working with Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland and Adam Gase this last year, obviously there’s stuff I’ve taken from both of them,” Loggains said. “Going back in the quarterback room, I think it was good for me. It was a good experience. Things you obviously change are, ‘hey, in Tennessee I like the way we did this and we’ll bring that here. In Cleveland, I like the way we did whatever.’. So it’s gaining knowledge from being around other people and being in different situations.”

Notre Dame unit preview: DeShone Kizer, Malik Zaire and the quarterbacks

Notre Dame unit preview: DeShone Kizer, Malik Zaire and the quarterbacks

With the start of Notre Dame preseason camp fast approaching, we’re looking at what to expect from each unit that’ll take the field in primetime Sept. 4 against Texas at Darrell K. Royal Stadium. 

Depth Chart

1A. DeShone Kizer (Redshirt sophomore)
1B. Malik Zaire (Redshirt junior)
2. Brandon Wimbush (Sophomore)
3. Ian Book (Freshman)

All eyes will be on Notre Dame’s quarterback competition in August, with coach Brian Kelly saying after spring practice Kizer and Zaire were entering the summer on an even playing field. Zaire needed the spring to catch up to Kizer in terms of some of the offensive wrinkles installed after his season-ending ankle injury in the second week of the season. 

Both quarterbacks will get an opportunity to win the starting job during preseason camp, though the slight edge has to go to Kizer given his experience (11 starts) against that of Zaire (three starts). While Zaire’s potential remains high (he did, after all, quarterback Notre Dame’s best win of the season last year, that 38-3 shellacking of Texas), Kizer showed last fall plenty of the traits Kelly has wanted out of a quarterback since arriving in South Bend in December of 2009. Kizer takes coaching well and rarely made the same mistakes on a week-to-week basis, and he accounted for 31 touchdowns with some solid other numbers, too. 

That’s not to say Zaire can’t win the job next month, but he probably has more of an uphill climb to earn it than Kizer does. 

Biggest question: When will a starting QB be announced?

Kelly said during spring practice he wants his offense to form an identity around a starting quarterback, so don’t expect this decision to drag on until right before kickoff of the Texas game (Ohio State’s handling of the Cardale Jones-J.T. Barrett competition last year stands as a lesson in how to not make a quarterback and an offense comfortable). The preseason camp portion of Notre Dame’s August practices usually runs for about two weeks, so with a start date of Aug. 6, expect Kelly to announce a starter sometime after Aug. 20. 

Whether that announcement becomes public is another question, but Kizer, Zaire and Notre Dame’s offense likely will have have about two weeks of practice/meetings before the Texas game knowing who their starting quarterback is. 

Youthful impact

Wimbush appeared in two games last year, with Kelly, Mike Sanford & Co. seeing the necessity to burn his redshirt to get him in-game reps in case he needed to take meaningful snaps in a College Football Playoff race. Kelly in the spring walked back a comment he made in February about planning to redshirt Wimbush this fall, but if Kizer and Zaire both stay healthy, Notre Dame would probably prefer to keep the talented sophomore on the sidelines in 2016. 

Book enrolled in Notre Dame this summer with far less hype than his predecessors (he was only a three-star recruit), but Sanford raved about his skillset and fit in the Irish offense on signing day in February. He’ll likely take a redshirt year and begin his quest to move up the rungs of the depth chart in 2017. 

They said it

“They are both that good. I already know that. But there will be a day, and we're going to have to say: It's time to go, he's our quarterback, everybody's behind him and we need to go, and that's who the quarterback is.” — Brian Kelly