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LAS Week: LAS Connect Alumni in Sports Communications

Author: tbrow | Image: tbrow

oin LAS alumni who work in sports communication for this special LAS Week panel from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.


Jeff Joniak ‘98 (Journalism and Mass Communication)

Chicago Bears Play-by-Play Announcer

Jeff Joniak is in his 21st season behind the microphone as the play-by-play announcer of the Chicago Bears on WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM, and his 36th year of sports broadcasting in Chicago. 

An award-winning broadcast journalist, Jeff has hosted the Chicago Bears game day broadcasts since 1997, serves as WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM’s Director of Sports Operations and maintains his afternoon drive time sports anchor shifts. Additionally, he hosts “The Bears Coaches” radio show with Bears head coach Matt Nagy each Monday night during the season and “Bears All-Access” each week on 670 The Score. On game days,  JeffBears analyst Tom Thayer, and Lou Canellis co-host Bears-produced television shows, “Bears Game Day Live” and “Bears Game Night Live on Fox.  During the season, Jeff also pens his “Joniak’s Journal” and weekly “Keys to the Game” features on and “Game Previews” with Thayer on 

Throughout the year, Jeff emcees a number of charitable events, and special appearances for various companies,  including the National Football Foundation Scholarship Awards ceremony, the Ed Block Courage Award, the annual Chicago Bears Care Gala.     

Joniak was named to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.  He and the rest of the Bears Radio staff are six time winners of the Peter Lisagor Award, presented for exemplary journalism.  Joniak  earned multiple Associated Press “Best Sports Reporting” awards and earned the Silver Dome Award for “Best Play-by-Play” in 2006, and in 2013 as “Best Sportscaster”, and  2018 for his Joniak’s Journal, as well as regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2007, 2009, and 2013.  Jeff has also earned Chicago Midwest Emmy Awards for Bears television shows in 2009 and 2012. 

Julie Fie ’81 (Speech Communication)
Vice President of Basketball Communications for the Phoenix Suns

Julie Fie, a senior member of the NBA’s public relations community, serves as the club’s primary liaison between the media and the team’s players and management for all basketball communications. Fie and her staff are responsible for media interviews and requests and the dissemination of information locally, nationally and internationally. This includes news conferences, press releases, game night press accommodations and credentialing, the production of media guides, game notes, and statistics.

A former member of the NBA Public Relations Advisory Board, Fie joined the Suns in 1992. In 2007, she and her staff won the inaugural Professional Basketball Writes Associations Media Relations Staff of the Year award (now known as the Brian McIntyre Award), and have been finalists for the honor on multiple occasions including each of the past five seasons. Fie, now in her 29th season with the Suns, was promoted to her current position in July 1998.

Fie has worked with some of the game’s biggest personalities, including former NBA MVPs and Hall of Famers Charles Barkley, Steve Nash, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Mitch Richmond, Ralph Sampson, Jerry Colangelo, Rick Wetts and Paul Westphal.

Originally joining the NBA with the Kansas City Kings as assistant public relations director, Fie was elevated to director the following season and remained with the club as the franchise related to Sacramento. She remained there until joining the Suns.

A communications graduate from Iowa State University, Fie spent two years as an undergraduate with the ISU sports information department.