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.
Natalie has taken her love for helping aspiring journalists to a new level. She is now an adjunct professor at DePaul University. She’s excited to be teaching the Spring 2021-2022 Introduction to Journalism course.
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.
A family was left heartbroken after a gunman shot and killed a father of four who was working as a security guard at a dollar store in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, according to relatives and police. At around 1:38 p.m., police were called to Family Dollar, 5410 W. Chicago Ave., where a man had been shot. According to authorities, a 43-year-old…
The Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to remove school resource officers from Chicago Public Schools, with the removal of the officers required by the start of next school year.
Just a day after many Americans are reeling after a woman was killed and over 20 others were wounded after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade, Illinois’ second-largest city is remembering those lost in a tragedy that continues to affect the community.
An Oak Park man received the surprise delivery of a lifetime earlier this month when a police officer delivered his food following the arrest of the man’s delivery driver.
A fire at a historic home in Oswego Wednesday morning left multiple water mains broken and several nearby residents under a boil order, officials said.
Joliet police said at around 8:30 p.m., officers learned that 23-year-old Romeo Nance had been located by U.S. Marshals near Natalia, Texas, and when confronted by law enforcement, took his own life with a handgun. Natalia is approximately 30 miles southwest of San Antonio. At around 12:04 p.m. on Monday, the Will County Sheriff’s Office notified Joliet police of...
Man rescued after being trapped for 6 days under highway overpass in Indiana shares encouraging update
A man who was rescued late last month after being trapped for six days beneath a highway overpass in Porter County, Indiana has shared an encouraging update as his condition improves.
Residents in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood are expressing outrage after dozens of antisemitic flyers were spotted on cars in the North Side neighborhood.
Meetings in multiple Chicago suburbs were held on Tuesday night as several communities are rapidly trying to address an increase in unscheduled drop-offs from buses transporting asylum-seeking migrants.
Several suburbs in the Chicago area have worked quickly in the past week in an effort to pass ordinances combating unannounced drop-offs from buses carrying asylum-seeking migrants.