Colleen studied foreign relations in college and it was watching Linda Ellerbee & Bill Schechner on NBC News Overnight that convinced her there was work for a cheeky foreign correspondent. She finished Medill’s journalism program and headed to Elkhart, Indiana. After reporting stints in Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Illinois, Colleen moved to Milwaukee in 1993 to join WISN. She clinched the job with a holiday/thank you note featuring a photo of her in her favorite red coat strapped into Tennessee’s electric chair and the greeting “Hope your holidays are electrifying!” In nearly three decades as a broadcast journalist, Colleen has earned a reputation as one of the city’s scrappiest reporters, withstanding polar vortices, dog attacks, camera cold cocks and the indignities of high definition on aging skin. She’s happiest when tracking notorious criminals. She’s won a few prizes and helped change a few laws, but it’s the courage and humility of those families who have shared life’s most profound losses with her for which she’s most grateful. To be a reporter is to live a thousand lives; compassion is its reward. Before television, Colleen worked for the Peace Corps and Agence France-Presse, the French wire service. She received a B.S. in Spanish from Georgetown University, a M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University, and most recently, a law degree from Marquette University. She is proud to say she has now paid off all of her student loans. While studying at Georgetown University, she held a Top Secret Security Clearance as an employee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which is where she first learned to protect her sources. Colleen is married and lives in Milwaukee with her dogs Barkis and Peggotty, and her husband, criminal defense attorney Steve Kohn. She met Steve while chasing one of his clients with a microphone. His first words to her were “No comment.”
Maryann credits pioneering radio and television newswoman Nancy Dickerson with piquing her interest in TV news. In 1960, Milwaukee native Dickerson became the first female network reporter at CBS and after reading Dickerson’s autobiography in college, she was hooked. Maryann herself became an award-winning journalist at WISN-TV where she spent half of her 20 years there as video editor, weekend assignment editor, and producer of newscasts and special projects. She spent the second half of her tenure in management as executive producer, assistant news director, and interim news director. She led her WISN colleagues on the coverage of the Jeffrey Dahmer story, winning an Emmy® Award and a National Associated Press Award. She is also a contributing author and editor for The Producing Strategy 2.0, a book published by The Broadcast Image Group, aimed at television news producers and managers. Maryann’s other passion is teaching. She was an assistant professor at Cardinal Stritch University and served on the journalism faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She’s proud of her many students who consistently won awards for journalistic excellence. Mostly recently, Maryann became a producer/director for Milwaukee Public Television, working as supervising producer for Outdoor Wisconsin and producing documentaries. She serves on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Education Committee, produces videos for WBA Foundation’s virtual Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting, and is a long-time member of the Milwaukee Press Club Board of Governors. A Chicago native, Maryann earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Carole Meekins is the longest tenured 10:00 p.m. anchor in the Milwaukee market— celebrating her 23rd year at TODAY’S TMJ4. She co-anchors Live at 5:00, Live at 6:00, Wisconsin Tonight at 6:30 and Live at 10:00. After graduating with a music degree from the University of Illinois, she became a music teacher. In St. Louis, her first TV job was co-hosting God’s Musical World, before moving to news. Her weekly Positively Milwaukee reports celebrate good news and inspirational stories of people, places, and events throughout southeast Wisconsin. Carole believes in giving back, and her calendar is always filled with speaking engagements and emcee events throughout Greater Milwaukee. Meekins served as honorary chairwoman of the AIDS Walk Wisconsin and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk for a Cure. She is proud to help young cancer victims through her work with the MACC fund (Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer), which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for pediatric cancer research. Carole has received numerous recognitions including Emmy® nominations and salutes from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and Milwaukee Press Club. She also earned awards from the Virginia Associated Press, American Cancer Society of Wisconsin, Department of Veterans Affairs, Mascoutah High School Hall of Fame, Women on the Move Award, Milwaukee Area Girl Scouts, Milwaukee Community Journal Lifetime Service Award, and Milwaukee Streets of Peace Award. She received a leadership award from Delta Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma and was also honored by the Holy Redeemer Church in Milwaukee in its salute to 100 Black Women.
Pursuing a career in advertising, the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania native studied photography at Illinois State University, when he became friends with two other students who were working in WEEK-TV’s newsroom in Peoria. Dale landed there as a still photographer, eventually transitioning to news photographer. It was the beginning of a fascinating, challenging and rewarding career that this young college student felt he could not have imagined. In 1979, Dale left Peoria for Milwaukee’s WITI-TV. His news photography helped him gain deeper insight into providing strong visuals to support solid and creative writing. Working with top-notch professionals, he focused on building strong partnerships with reporters, producers, editors and fellow photojournalists. Dale was named WITI’s Chief Photographer in 1984. As technology advanced and the station expanded in news, the photojournalist staff grew from 10 to 21 – the market’s largest. During that time, Dale was honored to have had the opportunity to recruit, hire and mentor a talented and diverse group of men and women. During his tenure there, Dale provided visual coverage for a full scope of news events using tools that evolved from film to tape to the digital era. His contributions helped create a successful outcome of high profile and everyday stories that were tough, smart, occasionally funny and sometimes tragic. He helped cover everything from political conventions to Super Bowls, from breaking news to special reports from China, Nicaragua and Bosnia/Herzegovina. Through it all, he advocated for quality and ethics in storytelling and for the photojournalists on its front lines. Dale is grateful to many people who inspired, challenged, and encouraged him throughout his career. And he’s still friends with those two college buddies who nudged him away from advertising into a lifetime love of broadcast journalism from which Dale retired in 2008.
Gary Reistad began working at WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee in June of 1978, right after graduating with a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Starting as a newswriter and film editor, he began producing newscasts a short time later. He worked with John McCullough on the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts in the 1980s, worked with John McCullough and Melodie Wilson when the station decided to go with co-anchors for the 10 p.m. news. From there, Gary moved to producing the 5 p.m. show with Mike Gousha, as well as producing Sunday Night with Mike Gousha for 17 years. He now produces Live at Five with Mike Jacobs and Carole Meekins. Gary received recognition from the Milwaukee Press Club through the years for producing “Year Enders” for newscasts and live coverage of breaking news events. He was nominated for an Emmy® for producing the 2004 Democratic Presidential Debate at Marquette University. The debate was carried nationwide. Gary also earned an Emmy® Award for producing Rebirth of A Legend, the live TV coverage of the rededication of the renovated Lambeau Field in 1994. When not writing, watching or reading news, Gary enjoys playing guitar in two different trios. His favorite topics of conversation are his family, music, and the Green Bay Packers. Gary and his wife, Denise Callaway, have been married for 28 years. They have three children: George, Kelsey, and Sonja.
Mike Strehlow has worn many hats during his 32 years in television news. To put a newscast on the air three decades ago, he would have to stack the show, write copy, tune in a satellite dish, edit three-quarter-inch video, and choose slides, before taking a seat at the anchor desk. The varied experiences and this on-thejob training provided Mike with a solid foundation for a career that would take him from La Crosse to Green Bay and, in 1989, to Milwaukee. After working as a reporter and fill-in anchor at WTMJ-TV for seven years, Mike joined WDJT-TV in 1996, where he anchors the CBS 58 News at Noon. He also produces and hosts Weigel Broadcasting’s weekly public affairs program Eye to Eye. In addition, Mike is a veteran reporter who covers stories from city hall to the state capitol, Lambeau Field and beyond. He’s also reported from the streets of Havana, Cuba, and the deck of the U.S.S. Wisconsin battleship, but believes the most compelling and meaningful stories he’s shared with viewers over the years have come from neighborhoods here in southeast Wisconsin. Mike has served as MDA telethon co-host for more than a decade and also makes many public appearances every year for local charities. He considers himself fortunate to have worked with a number of talented broadcast journalists and community organizations over the past 25 years in a place that is very special to him and his family. Mike grew up in Marinette and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1982 with a degree in mass communications. He and his wife Jessica have two children: their daughter Madeline is a college student, and their son Adam is a high school senior.