For immediate release
Chicago, IL - January 7, 2015
Chicago public media organization WTTW is pleased to announce, for the first time in its 60-year history, the naming of an on-air host position.
In grateful recognition of a generous gift from longtime WTTW supporters Alexandra and John Nichols, the official title of the current host of WTTW’s flagship nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight will be listed as the Alexandra and John Nichols Chief Correspondent and Host. This gift will help to grow the station’s endowment and support continued production of its news and public affairs content. The change will be effective on Monday, January 12, and will be reflected on air, online, in print, and at public events where the Chief Correspondent and Host’s title is used. The program’s current host is award-winning television journalist Phil Ponce, who has been associated with Chicago Tonight as a host and correspondent for more than two decades, working closely with the series’ original host, the iconic Chicago newsman, raconteur, and author John Callaway.
“Alexandra and John Nichols have been pillars of this organization for more than 30 years,” said WWCI Board of Trustees Chairman James W. Mabie. “During Alexandra’s 20-year tenure as a valued WWCI trustee, she and John have been especially supportive of Chicago Tonight and the independent news reporting and analysis the station provides to the community. We are so pleased to be able to offer them this unique and permanent recognition of their support,” he added.
“John and I feel strongly that Chicago Tonight is an invaluable, unbiased news resource for Chicagoans, something that is rare in today’s media environment,” said Alexandra Nichols. “We wanted to ensure that this important platform endures for generations to come, especially in terms of keeping up with technological advances and retaining and attracting top-flight journalists.”
Phil Ponce said, “I am honored to be the first at WTTW to have my position associated with the names of these two wonderful philanthropists. Along with our dedicated staff, I remain committed to maintaining the high journalistic standards that have been synonymous with Chicago Tonight for the past three decades. We are incredibly grateful for, and honored by, this gift.”
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015, WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW Vme, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on wttw.com. Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as Chicago Tonight, Check, Please!, and MEXICO – One Plate at a Time, WTTW presents the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children’s programming to almost 2 million weekly viewers across a four state area. WTTW is unique in its commitment to serving the children in our community, with half of its weekday broadcast schedule devoted to educational and non-commercial content. Visitors to wttw.com can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and robust microsites dedicated to WTTW and PBS series and specials.