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
  • 2 in custody in connection to death of 2-year-old boy on South Side

    CHICAGO — Two people of interest were taken into custody in connection to the death of a 2-year-old boy in the Washington Park neighborhood. The medical examiner’s office identified the child as Ja’hir Gibbons. The medical examiner’s office said he died of multiple injuries stemming from child abuse and deemed his death a homicide. Ja’hir lived in the 6000 block of South Prairie Avenue. He died Monday evening, during what neighbors described as a chaotic scene. One neighbor said she […]

  • Illinois lawmakers reintroduce ‘MOMMA Act’ which calls for more money for prenatal care

    CHICAGO — Every year as many as 700 women die due to pregnancy in the United States, so now, two Illinois lawmakers have reintroduced the MOMMA Act. The act, which stands for “Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness” calls for more money for prenatal care and training for health care providers. Given the advancements the country has made in health care when it comes to the treatment of diseases such as cancer and heart disease, Sen. Dick Durbin called […]

  • Funeral held for McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner

    WOODSTOCK, Ill. — A funeral was held at a Chicago-area high school for a sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a hotel. McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner was remembered Wednesday at Woodstock North High School.   3,000 mourners filed out of the school after the funeral for Keltner’s final dispatch call.  A procession for law enforcement and emergency vehicles followed. Mourners can also leave notes and flowers on a sheriff’s squad […]

  • Aldermen call for more patrols after spike in thefts, robberies in Streeterville

    CHICAGO — Local aldermen say two robberies reported in Streeterville overnight are just the latest in a spike in crime there, as they call on police to increase their presence in the downtown neighborhood. Chicago police issued a community alert over the weekend, warning of multiple incidents in the Streeterville area where people were being robbed of their cellphones and purses. The two alderman who represent the region say they need more beat cops and more cooperation between CPD and […]

  • Prosecutors drop charges against former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock if he pays back IRS, campaign

    CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors agreed Wednesday to drop all felony corruption charges against former Rep. Aaron Schock if he pays tens of thousands to the IRS and campaign committees, a dramatic reversal the Illinois Republican said proved he was targeted by a prosecutor looking for “stardom.” Schock, a one-time rising GOP star, resigned from Congress in 2015 amid scrutiny of his spending, including decorating his office in the style of the “Downton Abbey” TV series. He faced up to 20 […]

  • Ex-Chicago cop on trial after 14 years on the run

    CHICAGO — Opening statements wrapped on Tuesday in former Chicago Police Sergeant Eddie Hicks’ trial. Hicks skipped town before his original trial in 2003. He was a fugitive for more than 14 years, and was captured in 2017 as he lived in Detroit under a fake name. According to prosecutors, Hicks was the leader of a corrupt crew that used fake search warrants to shake down drug dealers. The prosecution’s opening statements laid out its case against Hicks saying, “He was […]

  • Chicago breast cancer survivor builds natural haircare empire

    CHICAGO — Starting a business is never easy. For Chris-Tia Donaldson, it was exponentially more difficult — she did it with a cancer diagnosis while holding down a demanding job. In March 2015, Donaldson’s haircare company, TGIN, launched in 250 Target stores nationwide. In December, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was the best and worst year of her life. But then something unexpected happened: TGIN sales went through the roof. “During that time when I was just focusing […]

  • How the Sears catalog revolutionized the way blacks shopped

    CHICAGO — Sears was founded in Chicago and started out as a catalog business. Little did its founder Richard Sears know, it would grow to become the world’s largest store and a great equalizer for black people who were suffering under Jim Crow. Under Jim Crow, state and local laws were enacted after slavery ended to enforce racial segregation in the South. They remained in place until 1965, but the Sears catalog restored dignity to black shoppers who were forced […]

  • ‘Racist,’ ‘con man’: Cohen assails Trump before Congress

    WASHINGTON — In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president’s former lawyer on Wednesday cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex, and who lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia. Michael Cohen, who previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, told lawmakers that Trump had advance knowledge and embraced the news that emails damaging to Hillary Clinton would be […]

  • 1919 Race Riots in Chicago: A look back 100 years later

    CHICAGO — This year marks 100 years since the Chicago Race Riot—a tragic event that has shaped politics and race relations in the city. Many Chicagoans do not know the whole story, but there is a push to educate and explore solutions to problems today that are similar to that very difficult period in the city’s history. The year 1919 was a year of racial uprisings. It was dubbed the “Red Summer” by author James Weldon Johnson.  There were more […]

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