Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication


News show features two Loyola instructors

News show features two Loyola instructors

It’s common for Chicago Tonight host Phil Ponce to interview newsmakers like Peter Hawley, director of the Illinois Film Office.

What is unique about the recent exchange is that Ponce and Hawley are both part-time instructors at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication.

In his role as Visiting Professional in Residence, Ponce offers lectures and workshops on interviewing. Hawley, an adjunct instructor, teaches a variety of classes, including courses in film and digital media.

Ponce and Hawley are representative of the high-caliber instructors who teach in the School of Communication, said Associate Dean John Slania.

“Our full-time professors and part-time instructors are among the most talented scholars and professionals in the communication industry,” Slania said.

Ponce has developed an expertise in interviewing in his role on Chicago Tonight, the nightly television magazine of news and culture on WTTW-11, the most-watched PBS station in the country. 

Ponce conducts nightly interviews with news-makers, authors and artists and moderates panels on topics ranging from business and medicine to the arts and education.

Hawley, a filmmaker, was recently named director of the Illinois Film Office. In his new positon, Hawley will work to sustain and grow the film and television industry in Chicago and Illinois.

The Illinois Film Office promotes the state as a production center for film, television and commercial advertising, from providing initial location services, to working alongside local vendors and unions. It also offers tax credits to film and television production companies, which has been integral in growing a competitive film industry in Illinois.

Illinois is home to a record nine original television programs. Streaming services and cable expanded production in the state, with Comedy Central, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon Studios, and, for the first time, HBO all choosing Illinois. The combined total of 332 television, film, digital and commercial advertising projects generated $474 million in estimated Illinois spending, resulting in 13,848 job hires and nearly 4,000 individual businesses providing goods and services to the industry.

Hawley also said it is important to grow the workforce and bring jobs to the state and to make sure Illinois has the best crews, stages and facilities so big productions can come to the state and be successful. Chicago is currently home to many major television shows such as Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Shameless and Empire.