Denise Callaway began her career as a journalist in the summer of 1975 in her hometown of Kokomo, Indiana as the cable television station’s noon news anchor. She worked at WTWO-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana while attending Indiana State University and was hired as a full-time reporter at WISH-TV in Indianapolis when she was 21 years old.
After pursuing a master’s degree, Callaway was hired as a general assignment reporter at WTMJ-TV in 1979. During her 12 years at the station she covered general assignment news, education, city government, and health issues. She reported from Washington, D.C., France and Belfast on issues ranging from education reform, the Iranian hostage crisis, the violent religious and ethnic crisis in Northern Ireland, and civil rights in Milwaukee and nationwide. She is among the first African-American female broadcast news reporters in Indianapolis and Milwaukee.
After leaving day-to-day reporting to work for Milwaukee Public Schools, Callaway continued her journalistic efforts working for Milwaukee PBS for more than a decade where she hosted 4th Street Forum, a weekly public affairs show; was a panelist and substitute host for the public affairs show Interchange; and hosted and reported for several Milwaukee PBS series and documentaries. Her work has been recognized by the Wisconsin Broadcaster’s Association, the Milwaukee Press Club, Associated Press, and other organizations.
Callaway served on many boards including the Milwaukee Public Library, RadioMilwaukee, the WUWM advisory board, the Indiana State University Foundation, and is the founding chair of the ISU African-American Alumni Association. She was also a founding member of 100 Black Women-Milwaukee.
She recently retired from Milwaukee Public Schools and is married to retired WTMJ-TV producer Gary Reistad. They have three adult children.