For Mykleby, news is a lifelong passion
Tosa anchorwoman to be honored for career achievement
Kathy Mykleby knew she wanted to work in the news business on Nov. 22, 1963.
She was in fourth grade then, growing up outside Chicago. That afternoon she came upon a crying teacher in the hallway at her school and asked what was wrong. The teacher told her the president had been shot.
Shocked, Mykleby returned to her classroom and announced the news to the class.
"I think that was the first time I had information that was simultaneously stunning and something I couldn't possibly keep to myself," she recalled.
Since then, Mykleby said, "it's been a match made in television."
Now, 45 years later and 29 years into a career of reporting the news at WISN 12, the Wauwatosa resident is being honored by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her significant contributions to Milwaukee's television market.
Along with five other former Milwaukee broadcasters, Mykleby will be inducted Sunday into the academy's Milwaukee Silver Circle during a ceremony at the Marcus Center's Bradley Pavilion. Mykleby, who co-anchors the weekday newscasts at 5, 6 and 10 p.m., is the only honoree still working in broadcast news.
'What we do has merit'
The Silver Circle award is only a small payoff compared to her on-the-job achievements, Mykleby said, but she's not referring to her many local and regional awards.
Mykleby said one of her favorite parts about being a reporter is helping to find answers to problems like poverty, educational inequity and long-term criminal investigations.
"I know what we do has merit," she said of her work in the newsroom.
That's part of what has kept her in the business for so long. But what's kept her in the Milwaukee area? Mykleby admits she has had job offers from around the country, so why has she stayed?
Mykleby said she thinks the news market here is better than in many larger cities. "I really am proud of the product that's put out in Milwaukee," she said.
That quality breeds competition, another positive quality.
"I love competition, and we've always had a healthy one in this city."
Anchored to Milwaukee
As long as she can keep finding challenges for herself in Milwaukee and at WISN 12, Mykleby said she has no plans to leave.
"I'm not one to stand still," she said. "I have not been standing still within this building."
Part of that ongoing challenge is finding ways to deliver the day's news - both good and bad - in ways viewers can relate to.
"I don't discount how that feels, for people watching television (to hear bad news)" she said.
Mykleby said the length of her career has helped her build a rapport with viewers, but being forthright is still important.
"I think I'm pretty much just all about telling it like it is," she said.
As long as there is news to report and people willing to hear it, Mykleby said she'll have something to say. The reporter said she is never at a loss for words.
"I could be a 24-hour news channel," she joked. "I could do it on my own."
THE MYKLEBY FILE
• Grew up in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Ill.
• Graduated from the University of Iowa in 1976, with a major in communications studies.
• Began her career in radio at WRNA-FM in Iowa City, Iowa, and WKY in Oklahoma City.
• Joined WISN 12 in 1980 and is now co-anchor for the weekday news at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
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