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Chicago native Sally Ramirez has been named Senior Vice President of News for NBC Chicago / WMAQ and Telemundo Chicago / WSNS.

The newly-created role involves leading news operations for the NBC and Telemundo owned stations that serve the region’s English- and Spanish-speaking audiences.  

According to Ramirez, she is tasked at creating a new, integrated culture as SVP of both NBC Chicago and Telemundo Chicago. 

“Just like Chicago, our newsroom is filled with people from different backgrounds, different experiences and many speak multiple languages,” said Ramirez.  “It just makes sense to unite the immense talent in-front and behind the scenes. We will only be stronger together.”

Ramirez has more than 30 years of television news experience, with the majority of her career leading large-market newsrooms across the country. She returns to the market after serving as Executive Producer for CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith. Previously, Ramirez spent nearly five years as Executive News Director for KHOU-TV in Houston  following 17 years with KGW-TV in Portland, most recently as Assistant News Director. Before that, she held editorial and management roles in several markets, including as Executive News Producer for Chicago’s WGN-TV. She launched her career at WMAQ as an intern.

Ramirez is a bilingual first-generation Mexican American who grew up in the city’s Bridgeport neighborhood. She graduated from Chicago’s Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and DePaul University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications

“My parents helped me get here by instilling good values, morals and a strong work ethic. That is my foundation. I’ve never forgotten where I come from,” said Ramirez.

One of NAHJ’s goals is to have more Latinos in news, in decision-making roles.  Ramirez said she agrees it’s critical to have more diversity in news and leadership roles. 

“I see diversity not just as racial, but also gender, educational, geographic and economic diversity,” she said.  “More importantly, I always want my team to know, you do not need a title to effect change or make a positive impact.”

For aspiring journalists, Ramirez has this message: 

“Si se puede! Be defined as a journalist first. Be a journalist who happens to be Latino. We bring SO MUCH to the table. You don’t want to become the journalist assigned to cover only stories seen as impacting the Latino community. Make sure you work for a boss who values and appreciates ALL of what you offer.”

And by all means:

‘You do you! Don’t try to conform. And do NOT change your name or hair!”