Chicago Tonight Week in Review

May 22, 2023
David Sunnyside

chicago tonight week in review

The Trump indictment sets the national political world on fire. Vallas and Johnson race toward the finish line in the mayor's race. The "ComEd Four" trial peels the curtain back on the Madigan machine. And the Cubs and Sox are undefeated. Plus, a migrant crisis hits fever pitch. Lawmakers keep state budget specifics close to the vest. And Blackhawks fans get swept up in Connor Bedard mania.

The normally sedate Chicago Tonight public television news and discussion show is in turmoil, and that's bad for the city at a time when the issue of racial equity is more vital than ever. Hugo Balta, the program's news director and executive producer, was fired last week. That's on top of the loss of senior producer Judith H. Smelser, who left the program last month to become the chief content officer of NBC Chicago.

Despite the turmoil, the core team of reporters and staffers — including anchors Brandis Friedman and Paris Schutz — remains intact. The team's deep-dive reporting into issues facing the city and suburbs has helped it stand apart from four 10 p.m. local newscasts, which tend to focus on short-attention-span stories.

The change in schedule also means that the show no longer follows the weekly "PBS NewsHour." That move, which will take effect on Jan. 23, will put the program in direct competition with the commercial broadcasters' 10 p.m. newscasts, which usually dominate the ratings in that time slot. In our weekly roundup of notable news, sports and other events from the past week.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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