About Paul The Basics

Paul Lisnek - Quick Facts and his WGN-TV World

Dr. Paul Lisnek is a multi-Emmy, Beacon, Cablefax, Telly  and Communicator award-winning television host and anchor.

Paul is the political analyst for WGN-TV in Chicago appearing on all of its # 1 rated news programs. He also anchors “WGN-TV Political Report.” He also hosts “Paul Lisnek Behind the Curtain, “a popular podcast heard on WGNRadio.com or wherever you get your podcasts, including on Alexa. He is an occasional fill in host for 720AM-WGN Radio.

Holding both a law degree and doctorate in Communication from the University of Illinois, Paul is a frequent keynote speaker sponsored by numerous corporations, government entities, bar associations, law firms, and colleges and universities

Paul is also a nationally recognized jury and trial consultant whose office worked in the O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector, Whitewater, Enron, Casey Anthony (Tot Mom) and numerous other famous cases.


Paul's Other TV and Radio Worlds

On the Comcast Network, Paul hosts Broadway in Chicago Backstage an interview program taped in front of a live studio audience featuring the casts and creative from the leading shows in Chicago. Airing since 2010, guests have included the casts of the biggest and best Pre-Broadway openings and other Broadway shows, including Hamilton, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen,and many more listed below.  He also anchors “Newsmakers” for the Comcast Network on which he interviews leading political, entertainment and social figures.

Prior to his current shows, Paul has been a host for Comcast programs since 1986 hosting shows including “Political Update with Paul Lisnek” on the Comcast Network, “The Journal with Paul Lisnek,” and “Inside Your Government” (produced by Continental Cablevision).

Paul was also the theatre correspondent for the Emmy Award-winning entertainment program, Prime Time Chicago (Comcast Network). On radio, he hosted “The Paul Lisnek Show” on 1690am-WVON, the Talk of the Nation for 4 years

In addition, Lisnek hosted and was the associate producer of the Emmy, Beacon, Cablefax, and Telly award-winning special “Day of Honor” which follows a group of World War II Veterans to Washington, DC for a day that honors the military service of the Greatest Generation. He also hosted award winning specials “Footsteps of Lincoln,” and “Day of Remembrance.”

Lisnek served as an on-air expert for many television networks and radio stations appearing frequently on NBC News (Today Show and Nightly News, including a segment “In His Own Words”), CNN (Anderson Cooper 360), MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, MTV, HG-TV and Court TV (In Session). In addition, Paul has served as an on-air analyst for C-TV, Canada’s largest television network (The Verdict with Paula Todd, and Canada AM). On the radio, Paul has been interviewed on NPR and numerous radio stations around the country and Canada on the major legal and political matters of the day.

In addition to his work as a legal and political analyst, Paul appeared as a host on House Hunters-Chicago for HG-TV and appeared as a journalist in the film “Were the World Mine,” (as news journalist/broadcaster) and exhibited part of his extensive TV/movie memorabilia collection in the premiere episode of Me-TV’s “Collector’s Call,” hosted by Lisa Welchel. He made a return appearance in Season two to help showcase his brother’s extensive Beatles memorabilia collection.


Paul has covered politics as an analyst and interviewer since 1986 first for the Comcast Network (and its predecessors which include Continental Cablevision and AT&T), and on WGN-TV since 2008.

He has interviewed Presidents (Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter), Senators (incl. Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, Paul Simon, Roland Burris, Carol Mosely Brown, Tammy Baldwin, and Sherrod Brown).

Governors (J.B. Pritzker, Bruce Rauner, Rod Blagojevich, Pat Quinn, Adlai Stevenson III, John Kasich, Jared Polis).

Congressmen (incl. Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood, Rodney Davis, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Brad Schneider, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Marie Newman, Chuy Garcia, Bill Foster, Melissa Bean, Luis Gutierrez, Barney Frank, Patrick Kennedy,  Bob Dold), Mayors (incl Lori Lightfoot, Rahm Emanuel, Richard M. Daley, Pete Buttigieg plus countless other local municipality mayors, village presidents).

County Board Presidents (incl. Toni Preckwinkle and Dan Cronin), elected state officials including Lt. Governors, Treasurers, Secretaries of State, etc. plus, too many members of the Chicago City Council, Illinois House and Senate to list. National figures including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, and many others) plus countless analysts, journalists, and authors on the political process (incl. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Carol Leonnig, Karen Tumulty, E.J. Dionne, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Ted Koppel, Rick Wilson, economist Stephen Moore, Tony Kushner, Clarence Page, David Gregory, David Axelrod, Jonathan Alter, Peggy Noonan,  Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Barbara Walters, Larry King,  Valerie Jarret, Michael Bender, Evan Osnos).

Paul has also moderated political debates for Chicago Mayor, Chicago Aldermanic races, and Cook County State’s Attorney. The list goes on and on…..

Theater and Entertainment

Paul has also worked in the entertainment industry interviewing countless entertainers in music and Hollywood for the Comcast Network on his WGN- TV shows, and his WGN Radio Podcast “Behind the Curtain.”

Paul’s true passion rests in live theater where he has interviewed the casts and creators of the biggest and greatest Broadway shows since 2010, some of which can be found on the website pages which follow.

On his “Broadway in Chicago Backstage” show (taped in front of a live studio audience), Paul’s shows have included the casts and creative of Hamilton, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Billy Elliott, Dear Evan Hansen, Paradise Square, Sponge Bob Musical, First Wives Club, Big Fish, Shrek the Musical, Kinky Boots, On Your Feet, Tootsie, Pretty Woman, Cher Show, Phantom of the Opera, just to name a few. These shows have brought theater legends to the program including  Stephen Schwartz, Harvey Fierstein, Lin Manuel Miranda, Cindy Lauper, Sting, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Brian Adams, Nathan Lane, and Billy Porter.

In addition to his current roles, Paul has hosted specials and served as an entertainment correspondent for Prime Time Chicago, interviewing some of the world’s greatest stars and legends including: Betty White, Norman Lear, Fran Drescher, Sir Elton John, Adam Lambert, Steve Carell, Ed Asner, Tommy Tune, Jeff Daniels, Hal Sparks, Stephanie Powers, Georgia Engel, Marlee Matlon, Robert Klein, Fred Willard, Chance the Rapper,  Derek Hough, Kathy Garver, Anthony Michael Hall, Lucie Arnaz, Holland Taylor, David Steinberg, Howie Mandel, Bruce Vilanche, Andy Cohen, Matt Damon, George Clooney, John Mahoney, Rue McClanahan, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, among countless others.

Paul the Author and Producer

Paul is the author of fourteen books (so far), the latest being a work of political/legal fiction called “Assume Treason,” which was awarded the Indie Book Award for Finalist, Best Mystery of 2021. It’s the second book in a series, preceded by “Assume Guilt,” published in 2020. Both are the stories of protagonist Matt Barlow, a noted jury consultant, brought in some tough cases to find a resolution.. often with a surprise ending. Available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.

Paul’s other books include the inspirational “Quality Mind, Quality Life” and negotiation classic “Winning the Mind Game: Negotiating in Business and Life,” as well as many books on the practice of law for lawyers and law students including “The Art of Lawyering,” “Courtroom Power,” and “The Hidden Jury.” Most of these books can be ordered from Amazon.

Paul also served as executive producer for CDs recorded by jazz great Spider Saloff and singer/actress Alexandra Billings (seen on numerous TV shows including the groundbreakingTransparent, and also seen as Madame Morrible in “Wicked” on Broadway).

He has also produced several plays that premiered in Chicago.

Museum of Broadcast Communication

In May of 2015, The Museum of Broadcast Communication located in Chicago opened the Paul M Lisnek Gallery, a permanent exhibit which honors and details the personal life and professional career of Paul in the world of TV and radio.

It also features a rotating set of items from Paul’s extensive Hollywood and Broadway Memorabilia collection, which was also featured on the series premiere of ME-TV’s “Collector’s Call,” hosted by (Facts of Life’s) Lisa Whelchel.

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