NEWSWATCH 12 TEAM
John became the News Director at Newswatch12 at the beginning of 2012. He’s returning to Rhinelander to live and work after being away from the Northwoods for more than 40 years.
He graduated from Rhinelander High School, received two journalism degrees from Northwestern University, and worked as a television journalist at WBAY-TV in Green Bay, KSBW-TV in Salinas, CA, KGO-TV in San Francisco, and KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. He served as a faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he taught broadcast journalism.
For the past 20 years, he consulted local TV stations all over the country as a Vice President at Frank N. Magid Associates. His duties focused on using audience research to help local news operations better serve viewers.
John and his wife Karen both grew up in Rhinelander, and are very happy to be back in northern Wisconsin. They love the seasonal changes, the pace of life, the outdoors, the Packers and Badgers, and the sense of fun that they find here. Gardening, grilling, puttering around, snowshoeing, managing trees, looking at wildlife, just enjoying the closeness of the outdoors are things that fill the time with pleasure.
“The opportunity to lead and manage this team in this place is wonderful,” says John. “We’ll do all we can to keep the focus on local people and communities, and to be a unique source for sharing useful news and information for everyone who lives here.”
A native of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Ben joined the Newswatch 12 team in February 2012.
Ben started his broadcasting career in radio, working in the sports department of WIBA radio in Madison, Wisconsin. He had a chance to cover the Badgers, Packers, and high school sports.
Ben is and has always been a Badger, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with a degree in Political Science. During college, Ben worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly, serving in multiple legislative offices. After graduation, he interned with CBS News in Washington, DC.
Covering news and events relevant to the people of the Northwoods in an interesting and entertaining manner is Ben’s continuing goal. He delights in the opportunities to meet and interact with community members both inside and outside of work, so don’t hesitate to say hi!
You can also catch Ben calling play-by-play and writing stories for Rhinelander High School sports on HodagSports.com.
In his spare time, Ben is an avid sports fan and athlete, following the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers, as well as professional golf and tennis. He likes to play basketball, golf, baseball, and tennis and train for triathlons. Ben also officiates college and high school basketball and baseball. He enjoys historical reading (especially surrounding the American Revolution), watching sitcoms of questionable quality, and traveling.
Hayley joined WJFW in January 2013 as a reporter.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. While at UW-W she ran track and field. (Her specialty is the high jump). Hayley was actively involved with the campus station, UWW-TV, where she produced and announced for UW-Whitewater sports. After college she interned with the American Heart Association and the CBS affiliate, WISC News 3 in Madison. Her favorite experience was covering the 2012 Presidential election.
Hayley loves outdoor activities, including running, biking, skiing and snowmobiling. She also loves anything to do with music and loves playing the piano and singing. Hayley's proud to be from Hortonville, Wisconsin. You can always find 3 or 4 different types of cheese in her fridge.
Hayley would love to share your story or experiences. She loves covering stories about the outdoors and agriculture.
If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, please email her at email@example.com
Shardaa joined the Newswatch 12 team in January 2013 as a reporter.
She originates from the Chicagoland area and is quickly learning about snowmobiling, ice fishing and all of the other wonderful things the Northwoods has to offer. Before she started, Shardaa jumped into a freezing lake with her co-workers for a good cause.
Shardaa graduated in 2010 from Columbia College in Chicago with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. While in school she interned at Kurtis Production and WMAQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Chicago. Briefly after her intership with WMAQ, she was hired to work on the assignment desk. Her titles were desk assistant, production assistant and field producer. Shardaa spent more than two years at WMAQ.
In her spare time, she loves to read a good book, watch movies, try new restaurants as well as new recipes in her kitchen, biking, horseback riding and exercising. Shardaa is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Before coming up to the Northwoods, she was a mentor for Global Girl Media. She helped young minority girls develop their shooting and writing skills, as well as being more assertive with interviewing people.
Shardaa would love to share your stories or experience. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
Adam Fox joined WJFW in June 2013 as a reporter.
Adam comes to the Northwoods from Indiana, where he was born and raised. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ball State University, where he studied journalism, telecommunications and marketing. Adam interned at WISH-TV in Indianapolis for two summers and shot Friday football games during the high school season.
Adam is an extreme political junky. He also loves covering news events from the local to the national level. He enjoys reading political and history books, while also trying to be a successful outdoorsman.
In his spare time, he loves watching movies, eating food and meeting new people. He likes to play basketball, golf, and baseball, as well as watch his hometown professional sports teams. His heroes are Abraham Lincoln, Colin Powell and Peyton Manning.
Adam is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have any story ideas, good history books to recommend or just want to say “howdy,” email him at email@example.com. And if you see him inside or outside of work, don’t hesitate to say hello!
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
Lauren joined Newswatch 12 in June 2013 as a reporter. She grew up in Glencoe, Illinois. Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in May 2013. She majored in American Studies and minored in Literary and Cultural Studies. During her four years as an undergraduate, Lauren created, produced and hosted TribeUpdate, a newsmagazine show, and The Flat Hat Insider, a joint production between The Flat Hat Newspaper and William and Mary Television. Lauren also produced and hosted segments for ESPNU’s Campus Connection about William and Mary’s mascot search.
During the spring and summer of 2011, Lauren interned at the NBC News Washington bureau for Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. She contributed to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, NBC’s Nightly News, Today Show, the Dateline special “Taking the Hill: Inside Congress,” and wrote frequently for MSNBC.com’s First Read political blog. In August 2011, Lauren traveled to Iowa in her role as youth political correspondent for Comcast Newsmakers. There she interviewed presidential candidates and other notable politicians.
Lauren is no stranger to WJFW. She twice interned for Newswatch 12, and is thrilled to be back. Her family has strong roots in the Northwoods. Lauren’s great-grandparents met in Conover, and her family has had a home in the Northwoods for over 95 years.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys watching hockey (she’s a loyal Chicago Blackhawks fan), keeping up with the latest political news, scouring interior design blogs, spending time with her family and friends, and reading biographies. She also enjoys the occasional reality TV show.
After spending four years in Virginia, Lauren looks forward to experiencing a real winter. She hopes to snowmobile for the first time this winter.
Lauren would love to hear from you! Whether it’s a simple “hello” or a story idea, shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kalia joined the Newswatch 12 team in September 2013 as a reporter.
Originally from the east coast, Kalia is excited to experience her first Midwest winter in the Northwoods.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kalia graduated from Spelman College, the #1 Historically Black College in the nation. Graduating with international honors from Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society, Kalia earned a Bachelors’ Degree in English with a concentration in Journalism.
Before joining the Newswatch 12 team, Kalia was invited to participate in the Hyperlocal Newsroom Academy at New York University. There, she produced a live broadcast and anchored a segment on fitness and health—two things she is passionate about. Kalia blogged for the Huffington Post for more than 2 years.
After spending the summer in New York City, Kalia was offered an internship with Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta. After working with WSB-TV, Kalia went on to work at the CNN Headquarters.
When she’s not looking for the next story, Kalia enjoys working out, baking, spending time with her family and friends, listening to new music, watching TV, and blogging.
Kalia loves to talk! Don’t hesitate to email her with story ideas, or just to say “hello” at: email@example.com
Karolina comes to the Northwoods from New York City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2013. She majored in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. As an undergrad, she anchored, produced and reported for her school’s news station. Before joining Newswatch 12, Karolina interned for CNY Central in Syracuse. She also interned at the London Summer Olympics, where she watched Team USA win the gold in Women’s Gymnastics.
Karolina is an extreme foodie. She loves trying different types of cuisines, eating at new restaurants, and watching the Food Network. She is fluent in Polish and hopes to learn another language in the future. Karolina is also a die-hard Syracuse basketball fan and can’t wait to see Coach Boeheim win another National Championship. She has a good feeling that this will be the year for the Orange. Go ‘Cuse!
Karolina is excited to experience all the Northwoods has to offer. She’s no stranger to the snow and loves to ski and snowboard.
Karolina is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Marisa Silvas joined the Newswatch 12 sports team in October 2011 as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter.
Prior to coming to WJFW, she was an editor/associate producer for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area in San Francisco, CA. She also was a freelance field producer for NBC's Football Night in America and spent 6 years as a sports producer and editor for KNTV, the Bay Area’s NBC affiliate, where she co-hosted a weekly Sports Sunday web show with Jerry Rice.
She graduated with a degree in Communications from Santa Clara University.
Marisa is new to the Northwoods and the cold weather but has lived in several different locations on her journey to Rhinelander. Coming from a family with military ties, she was born in Austin, TX but also grew up in Mississippi, Lancaster, CA, and San Antonio, TX before settling down in Campbell, CA for the past several years.
Marisa has always had a passion for sports and people and has followed her dreams to WJFW after pursuing a full-time on-air job for several years.
Marisa likes all sports but is most passionate about the NFL, NBA and major league baseball. Since she has lived in many different locations, her favorite teams are all over the country as well. You will see her following her favorites: the San Antonio Spurs, Oakland Athletics, and (sorry, Packers fans)the Chicago Bears.
She is also an avid fantasy sports fan and has participated in fantasy football and hockey leagues the past five seasons. Feel free to ask her for the hot waiver wire pickup!
She and her husband of four years, Lyndon, have taken several vacations over the past few summers to visit all the MLB parks; she has now been to 14 and is excited to add Target Field to the list this summer! Her favorites so far are Wrigley, PNC and Miller Park. She and her husband also make an annual trek to Soldier Field to watch their beloved Bears and hang out in their favorite city, where they got engaged at the top of the Hancock Tower in 2007.
In her free time, she loves hanging out with her husband and her adorable puggle Walter. She also never misses her favorite TV show, Dancing With The Stars and, owing to her extensive dance background, someday dreams of being a celebrity contestant and winner!
Marisa is very excited to be making the big move from sunny California to the winter wonderland of Rhinelander! If you see Marisa out in the field or around the town, feel free to say hi and buy her a hot chocolate; she's probably cold!
Kaitlyn joined Newswatch 12 last June to produce the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. In January she was hired full-time to report and produce.
Kaitlyn comes from McHenry, Illinois. She graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in May 2013. She was involved in the campus station, UWW-TV, for 7 out of the 8 semesters she spent in Whitewater. She anchored and produced UWWTV News and the morning show Wake Up Whitewater.
Kaitlyn enjoys the Northwoods because she loves the outdoors. She looks forward to swimming and hiking this summer.
She is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, email her at email@example.com.
Matt joined WJFW back in February of 2008 as the Weekend Meteorologist. He was promoted to Morning Meteorologist in May of 2008 and has been Chief Meteorologist since September of 2010.
Matt graduated in May of 2007 from the University of North Dakota with B.S. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences and Environmental Geography. During his years in North Dakota, Matt was involved with several campus weather and news shows, including Prairie Weather Update, River Watch, UND Weather Update and Studio One, in which he worked as a forecaster, producer, anchor and feature reporter.
Matt grew up in Eden Prairie, a suburb of the Twin Cities, but he's a cheesehead at heart and has the Packer jerseys to prove it! He's considered the Northwoods his second home since childhood; his family’s roots are from all across the Northwoods and Central Wisconsin. In fact, his grandparents are Weather Watchers for the evening shows on Newswatch 12!
Believe it or not, Matt looks on his move to the Northwoods as if it were a move to the tropics, since the winters in North Dakota can be extremely cold and long, but they're always exciting!
While living in Grand Forks, Matt honed his forecasting skills by studying a wide range of weather conditions, including frequent blizzards, record-setting cold of -43°F (-70° with the wind chill) and snirt (combination of snow & dirt)!
Matt enjoys fishing and hunting during the summer and fall and skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing when the snow rolls in. He looks forward to living in the Northwoods and exploring what Northern Wisconsin has to offer!
Melissa Constanzer joined the WJFW team as the weekend meteorologist in October of 2012. This is Melissa’s first time in the Great Lakes region.
Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Melissa always was fascinated by the weather that surrounded her. As she got older, she noticed how weather impacts everyone’s life each day and decided to attend The Pennsylvania State University and major in Meteorology.
During her time at Penn State, Melissa absorbed as much as she could about the weather. She took extra classes, such as advanced weather forecasting and a graduate level tropical meteorology class, augmenting her meteorology degree.
In addition to her course work, Melissa was also involved in several clubs while at Penn State. She did frequent video productions for the Campus Weather Service and was also invited to be a student on-camera forecaster for Weather World, which airs each weeknight across Pennsylvania. Melissa was the Community Outreach Chair for Penn State’s AMS chapter. She loved being able to organize community events, such as elementary school visits, during which she got to teach kids about the weather.
Melissa also spent a summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she interned under the chief meteorologist at WMGM NBC-40. The following summer, she worked as the weekend evening meteorologist at WBRE, NBC’s Wilkes-Barre affiliate.
When she is not studying the weather, Melissa enjoys spending time outside. Her favorite pastimes include running, downhill skiing, and swimming, in addition to spending time with family and friends.
Weekend Meteorologist / Reporter
Matt Brooks joined WJFW in January 2014 as the Weekend Meteorologist and couldn't be happier to start his career in the Northwoods.
Matt is no stranger to the snow, having been born and raised in Northern Lower Michigan in the city of Cheboygan. His interest in weather began by forecasting snowfall amounts as a 6th grader after several intense winter storms. Although winter weather piqued his interest, his growing fascination for all weather continued through his high school years
In 2009, Matt started studying Meteorology at Central Michigan University where he was a member of the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. During the summer of 2012, Matt completed an internship at WPBN TV 7&4 in Traverse City under the supervision of the morning meteorologist.
When Matt returned to Central Michigan University the following fall, he was selected to be a weather anchor on the community news program News Central 34, which aired live in three counties. In May of 2013, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in meteorology and a minor in mathematics.
Matt enjoys watching films, reading, and spending time practicing guitar. If you happen to see Matt out and about, don't hesitate to say hello and ask about the weather!