Tonya Francisco

Tonya Francisco is an anchor of WGN Saturday Morning News and WGN Sunday Morning News, as of the expansion of weekend news in September 2016. Prior to that, Tonya was a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for WGN-TV. She joined CLTV in December of 2002 and was soon after named morning anchor. In 2012, she joined the WGN News team.

Tonya 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 and associate producer. After a year, she worked at WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan. While there, Tonya worked her way up from general assignment reporter to weekend anchor.

Tonya is a native Chicagoan, proud alumna of Whitney Young Magnet High School and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Tonya is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Recent Articles
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    Chicago kids head to Arizona for a day with the World Series Champs

    Chicago — Nine kids and their families filled gate H-9 at O’Hare International airport with smiles and excitement today as they waited to board a flight to Mesa, Arizona. They’re headed out there to hangout with the World Series Champs, the Chicago Cubs, during Spring Training. 11 year old  Saida Trznadel is looking forward to meeting number 44, Anthony Rizzo. “He’s such a good guy, I mean he would not give up on his team, he was like come on […]

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    7-year-old’s quick thinking saved his cop mom’s life, doctors say

    CHICAGO — Doctors say a 7-year-old’s quick thinking when his mom showed early signs of a stroke actually saved her life this past winter. Romeo Holland’s favorite saying is “calm down,” his family says, and his calm came in handy the morning of December 21 as his mom was helping him brush his teeth. “I had his toothbrush and I couldn’t brush his teeth for nothing,” recalled his mom, Sherece Holland. Seeing his mom struggle, Romeo rushed to grab his grandma’s cane and his grandmother, who […]

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    Communities face harsh realities of violence

    CHICAGO — So many young children have lost their lives recently in Chicago. On Tuesday it was 2-year-old Lavontay White Jr., and 11-year-old Takiya Holmes. On Wednesday it was 12-year-old Kanari Gentry-Bowers. But there’s also Tyshawn Lee, Jonylah Watkins and Amari Brown. The list unfortunately goes on and on. WGN’s Tonya Francisco visited Chicago neighborhoods that have been plagued by violence to see how residents are dealing with this harsh reality.

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    Gary teen located after Monday’s Amber Alert

    GARY, Ind. — A Gary, Indiana teen who was the focus of an Amber Alert has been located. 15-year-old Chastinea Reeves is in police custody. Her 34-year-old mother was the victim of a homicide early Monday morning, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office. Gary police say they found a 34-year-old woman dead in the Oak Knoll Renaissance Apartments, which is where Chastinea lived with her mother. This is a developing story. Check back for details.

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    Once a legendary jazz club, Bronzeville hardware store closing after 95 years

    CHICAGO —  Meyers Ace Hardware has been a Bronzeville staple for 95 years and 3 generations, beginning with owner David Meyers’ grandfather. In 1962, the store moved to the corner of 35th and Calumet, once the home of the famed Sunset Café, owned by Louie Armstrong. In the mid-50’s it was the Grand Terrance, a jazz mecca. A mural from back in the day still adorn the walls of Meyers’ office from when greats like Ella Fitzgerald played the club. […]

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    Naperville boy receives lifesaving transplant from dad’s long lost classmate

      CHICAGO — A long lost friend came to the rescue for a Naperville family who says now they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. 2-year-old Miles Wagner is, to quote his doctor, “One in million,” not only because of his great personality, but because of a rare disease that affects one in a million people in the population. In short, Miles’s liver wasn’t functioning properly and at 8 weeks old he experienced kidney failure that […]

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    No ruling yet as veteran fights deportation

    CHICAGO — A Chicago veteran appeared before an immigration judge today who was expected to decide whether he’ll be deported for a drug conviction. Miguel Perez was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States for 30-years. He’s also a decorated army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Perez never applied for citizenship because he thought it was automatic with his military service. Perez recently finished a seven-year prison sentence for a drug conviction which is grounds […]

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    Federal lawsuits filed in Chicago over Trump travel ban

    CHICAGO  — Two federal lawsuits in Chicago are challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking citizens from seven predominantly-Muslim countries. Both lawsuits filed Tuesday seek an emergency injunction to bar the order from being enforced. Dr. Amer Al Homssi is a Syrian citizen and legal resident of the United Arab Emirates. According to the complaint, his U.S. visa was canceled as he tried to board a flight to Chicago from the UAE where he got married. The lawsuit alleges […]

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    City’s new bag tax begins Wednesday

    CHICAGO —   Chicago’s new bag tax goes into effect Wednesday. City council passed the ordinance back in November. The ban was set to go in effect January 1, but was delayed for a month. No matter the size of the business, it’ll cost seven cents for each bag. The tax applies to all bags sold or used in Chicago. Two cents goes to the retailer, and five to the city. City officials will also be passing out free, reusable bags or […]

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    FBI says bank robberies up 34 percent

    CHICAGO — The FBI has a new study on bank robberies and the Chicago area has seen a big increase. In 2016, the number of bank robberies jumped to 193, 49 more than in the previous year. Most of those robberies fell into the non-takeover category, where a robber presents a note or orders a teller to hand over the cash and then the robber walks out. One common theme is bank robberies happening on Fridays. The FBI also says […]