Harry Porterfield joined ABC 7 News in September of 1985 after 21 years at WBBM-TV in Chicago. At ABC 7 Chicago, Porterfield is a feature news reporter appearing on various newscasts and serving occasionally as a substitute anchor.
He is known for the continuing series of human-interest "Someone You Should Know" reports which air Tuesdays and Thursdays on the 5 p.m. newscast. Porterfield created the series in 1977 at WBBM-TV and over the years has profiled some 2,000 subjects from individuals to organizations. He also hosts "People, Places & Things," a series of locally produced half-hour specials featuring prominent African Americans who have achieved honor and respect in the community. Read more about People, Places, & Things with Harry Porterfield
Prior to that, Porterfield, a former army sergeant, was a gospel and jazz disc jockey for radio station WKNX in Saginaw, Mich. where he wrote all of the commercial announcements. During his tenure at WBBM-TV, Porterfield anchored the hour long 6 p.m. news Monday through Friday and was a reporter/host of the Emmy award winning public affairs series "Channel Two: The People." He was also one of the hosts on the top rated magazine program "Two On Two."
Porterfield has received 11 Emmy awards for his news reporting and for his features on "Channel Two: The People" and for "Two On Two." He was honored with the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award for his "Someone You Should Know" series. In 1996 the late Cardinal Joseph Bernadin presented him with an archdiocesan plaque citing the "Someone" program as an outstanding TV series.
Other honors include receiving the first Outstanding Journalist Award ever presented by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists, the Distinguished Journalism Award from the Coalition for United Community Action, the Black Book Award as an outstanding black professional in communications, the Richard J. Daley Police Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Award from the Gary, Ind. NAACP, the Kinney Circle Guest of Honor Award from the Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, the Media Fairness Award from Operation PUSH, the Distinguished Service Award from the Black Data Processors, a Certificate of Merit from the National Catholic Association for Broadcasters and Allied Communications, and many other awards and citations. He was inducted into the Chicago Television Academy's Silver Circle in 1998. Porterfield is also a winner of the 1999 Studs Terkel Award for journalism presented by the Community Media Workshop and is the recipient of an award for outstanding community service from the Calumet Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Porterfield has been designated an honorary state representative in the Indiana General Assembly.
As a narrator, Porterfield has performed Copeland's Lincoln Portrait, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and other pieces with a number of area orchestras from Northwest Indiana to Chicago's Orchestra Hall to Skokie. Recently he was a stand in for actor Danny Glover as a narrator with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
As a jazz violinist, he has performed at the ETA Theatre at Drury Lane in Oak Brook and at various jazz venues in Chicago. Porterfield is a board member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, an honorary board member of the Merit Music Program, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity and a member of Chicago Federation of Musicians. A violinist, Porterfield is a member of the Annual Do-It-Yourself Messiah Orchestra and the Chicago Bar Association Orchestra.
Porterfield holds a degree in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. and a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago.