If there’s a breaking news story, Natalie Martinez is usually on it!
Natalie joined NBC Chicago as a general assignment reporter in January 2001. She spent many years reporting for all of our daily newscasts and anchored our weekend mornings for several years. She’s now seen every weeknight at 10 p.m. reporting on the top stories of the day.
Natalie has covered big stories, like the deadly tornadoes that devastated Fairdale and Washington, Ill., and smaller stories that matter to the "little guy." She won one of her Emmys for her non-stop reporting of those Washington tornadoes.
With nearly two decades of reporting and anchoring, she came to NBC Chicago from WXXA-TV, the Fox station in Albany, N.Y. During her final two years Albany, Martinez was the primary anchor.
Prior to her work at WXXA, this award-winning journalist had worked as an anchor, reporter and producer for several upstate New York television and radio stations.
Natalie is very active and recognized in the Latino community and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, for which she was elected Chicago Chapter President in 2016. In 2017, the national NAHJ organization awarded her with the coveted "Si Se Puede" Excellence in Leadership award. In 2018 she was recognized by Negocios Now publication as Who’s Who in Hispanic Chicago for her contributions to the betterment of the community.
She also does charitable work for CAWC (Chicago Abused Women Coalition), Center on Halsted and the Salvation Army among many others, and frequently services as Mistress of Ceremonies for groups all over the Chicagoland area. In March 2011, Martinez was named one of Chicago's Most Influential Women by the I'm Every Woman Expo.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Martinez is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and University of North London on scholarship.
In 2012, she was among the journalists honored with a Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Award for her role in covering the verdict in the trial against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She was honored with another Emmy Award for her reporting of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. She won an AP award for Best Reporter in 2013 for her breadth of work covering breaking, hard and feature news stories.
Natalie’s work covering the Laquan McDonald case helped NBC 5 earn a coveted Peabody Award in 2016.
Natalie grew up with a Ukrainian mother and Dominican father. She embraces and appreciates all the diversity that Chicago has to offer, and is a proud supporter of the Ukrainian community as well.
Throughout her childhood and teens, Natalie danced ballet and has a deep-rooted appreciation for the arts. She’s often seen attending or hosting art related events around the city.
Natalie married her lifetime love, personal trainer Flavio Gama, who moved from Brazil in 2013 to marry her. You'll often see the two doing outdoor activities at the beach with their baby girl, Sailor.