Tonya Francisco
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Tonya Francisco is a general assignment reporter/fill-in anchor for WGN-TV. Tonya is a native Chicagoan, proud alum of Whitney Young Magnet High School and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an award-winning journalist who began her television career as a desk assistant at WLS-TV/Channel 7 in Chicago.

She moved on to WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan to become a reporter/associate producer. After a year, it was on to WJRT-TV in Flint. While there, Tonya worked her way up from general assignment reporter to weekend anchor. She joined CLTV in December of 2002 and was soon after named morning anchor.

Tonya is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Recent Articles
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    Sony pulls ‘The Interview’ amid threats

    The U.S. is ready to blame North Korea for the crippling hack attack at Sony Pictures, as the studio said Wednesday it would cancel next week’s planned release of its controversial comedy “The Interview.” U.S. investigators say an announcement pinning the blame on hackers working for the Pyongyang regime could come as soon as Thursday. Because of the North Korean regime’s tight control of the Internet in the reclusive country, U.S. officials believe the hack was ordered directly by the […]

  • A look at plans for new 88-story skyscraper on Chicago River

    Developers from Chicago and China are teaming up to build an 88-story skyscraper along the Chicago River. The impressive skyscraper called the Wanda Vista will be built along the river just east of the Swissotel on East Wacker Drive. It will be a mixed-use building containing a hotel, condominiums and retail space. Mayor Rahm Emanuel proudly says the $900 million project will generate 2,000 construction jobs, 500 permanent jobs, and will be built by Chicago star architect Jeanne Gang. The […]

  • Judy Baar Topinka remembered at public memorial

    Hundreds of people turned out in the west suburbs Wednesday to pay final respects to Judy Baar Topinka. Topinka died a week ago after she suffered a stroke. She didn’t want a visitation or a funeral, so her family held a public memorial service at the International Union of Operation Engineers Local 150 hall, in Countryside. “She was an individual who never forgot her community and never forgot the taxpayers of the state,” said Cook County Commissioner John Daley. “I […]

  • Emanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago releases report on youth violence

    Mayor Emanuel’s Commission for a safer Chicago released its report on youth violence today. The commission’s 64-page report identifies several areas of concern:  youth employment; health and healing; restorative justice programs in school and finding alternatives to zero tolerance, such as suspensions and expulsions; and safety and justice, safe spaces and activities, and most importantly, youth involvement. The report comes after three closed-door roundtable sessions held over the summer. The panel comprises community and faith leaders, experts, parents and youth […]

  • Men convicted in ’94 murder of 11-year-old speak out for first time

    As reporters, there are some stories that just stick with us through the years. For WGN’s Tonya Francisco, it was the story of Yummy Sandifer, a young man who at 11 years old had a rap sheet longer than most adults.  He died violently in a gangland execution by 14- and 16-year-old brothers. Now, for the first time, we hear from both of those brothers about that fateful night, what they’ve learned and their hopes for the future. At 36, […]

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    Convicted cop killers’ sentencings delayed

      Two convicted cop killers will not be sentenced Monday as previously scheduled. In a court hearing this morning, defense attorneys are expected to file a motion asking for a new trial, among other post-trial motions. No new sentencing date has been set at this time. Toyious Taylor and Paris McGee were both convicted of killing Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham IV. Separate juries found them both guilty of two counts of first-degree murder as accomplices. Both were in the […]

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    Who will be Judy Baar Topinka’s successor?

    It’s unclear how long Illinois’ next state comptroller will serve; but he or she will have a tough act to follow. Judy Baar Topinka died Wednesday before she could be sworn in for her second term; and state politicians agree, her three-decade career has secured her political legacy. The state constitution gives the outgoing governor, Pat Quinn, the authority to name at least a temporary successor. If Quinn chooses someone, it will be up to the lawyers to argue whether […]

  • 2 arrested after Neiman Marcus crash-and-grab on Mag Mile

    Another “crash and grab” in the Chicago area. This time, at a high-end store on the “Mag Mile.” It happened at the Neiman Marcus store at 737 N. Michigan Avenue around 4 a.m. Wednesday. Someone drove a white Dodge Grand Caravan through the store’s glass doors facing Superior Street. Up to six people ran inside. “I heard like, two big booms. So, I came outside and I saw the van, the white van, pulling back and then going back forward […]

  • Police search for at least 2 suspects in another South Side smash-and-grab

    Police are investigating what looks like another smash-and-grab. It happened at an EZPAWN shop on 67th and Western in Marquette Park. Police say a gray Dodge Caravan rolled up onto the curb and smashed into the shop, breaking the front window and several display cases. Police say some electronics and cameras were taken.  “It was stupid, they did all this damage for the little stuff,” said Rodney Cohens, a relative of the store’s owner.  The expensive jewelry, he said, was […]

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    Another smash-and-grab robbery at clothing store in North Austin

    Another smash-and-grab crime has been reported, this time in the North Austin neighborhood. Chicago police say a pickup truck crashed through the wall of J-Bees clothing store, in the 5200 block of west North Avenue, shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday. Then 20 people rushed into the store, and helped themselves to the merchandise. The store manager tells WGN, the thieves took jeans valued at $700 per pair as well as Pelle Coats worth $600 each. He says the truck also […]


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