Amplifying ‘Voices’: New Weekend Shows Debut on WTTW


Like the river that divides the city into North, South and West sides, race divides the city’s population into rough thirds – one-third Black, one-third Latino and one-third White. But media coverage of the city often overlooks or undervalues the contributions of the Black and Latino communities that comprise the majority of Chicago’s people. And when media does cover those communities, it’s often because of crisis events. 

“Chicago Tonight” is looking to paint a more complete picture of our city’s Black and Latino communities by launching two new shows this Saturday and Sunday: “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices,” hosted by Brandis Friedman, and “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices,” hosted by Hugo Balta.

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Here are five fast facts about “Chicago Tonight: Voices.”

1. Both hosts are pulling double duty. Brandis Friedman will maintain her role as co-anchor of “Chicago Tonight” during the week, and Hugo Balta is the executive producer and news director of WTTW News. Don’t worry – they’re keeping their day jobs.

2. The format will be similar, but not identical, to the format of “Chicago Tonight.” “Voices" will continue the conversations with community members and newsmakers you’ve come to expect from “Chicago Tonight,” but with a focus on topics and issues of importance to the Black and Latino communities.

3. But wait, there’s more! We’re reaching back into WTTW’s rich archives to revisit past news coverage of Black and Latino communities to create a deeper understanding of entrenched problems that continue to trouble these communities. We’ll also dig up some gems from our archives of past musical and dance performances, art shows, and theater.

4. “Voices” is for you and by you. On the last Monday of every month, Balta and Friedman will lead “Community Conversations” to hear your thoughts on the topics we feature and what you have to say about the stories we’re missing.

5. We’re here for all of Chicago. Just like “Chicago Tonight” is for all our audience members in the Chicago region, so are “Black Voices” and “Latino Voices.” By amplifying the voices of these communities, we’re bringing more light to all of Chicago in its fullness – more stories from the city we all share.


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