Hometown: Hoffman Estates, Illinois
High School: James B. Conant High School-Class of 1979
College: Northern Illinois University: Bachelor of Science-Meteorology, Minor-Communication Studies, August 1987
Other Journalism Experience: WJFW-TV Rhinelander, WI, July 1988-September 1990
Started at WISC-TV on: September 24, 1990
What is your favorite part about living in Madison?
I like the fact that Madison can appeal to so many people. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, lived in the city of Chicago for a time, lived in a farm community in college, lived in a small northern Wisconsin town for my first TV job, and Madison has elements that remind me of all those places I once called home.
What is the biggest news story that you've covered?
There have been several: the big blizzard of December 3, 1990; the Town of Dunn tornado of March 27, 1991; the Southern Dane County tornado of June 17, 1992; the Madison tornado of June 23, 2004; the Stoughton tornado of August 18, 2005.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watch baseball (Chicago Cubs fan), bowling, amateur radio.
What is your family life like? Significant other, married, children?
My wife, Jean Marty, is a seventh grade Language Arts teacher at Savanna Oaks Middle School in Fitchburg; my son Charlie is now a teenage and will be attending Verona Area High School in Verona.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Plain old vanilla.
What is the funniest thing that?s ever happened to you?
Falling flat on my face trying to score from third in a softball game at the old Billy Rowe Field in Verona in front of my future wife and in-laws.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Who is your hero and why?
My parents. My dad Gary Sr. was an electrical engineer for Motorola who could design, fix, or build almost anything, and my mom Mary Ann was always proud of me and believed I could do anything.
What was your favorite band when you were in high school?
The Carpenters and C.W. McCall.
What is your favorite sport to play or watch?
Baseball, with bowling a close second.
If you could possess one superhuman power, what would it be?
Strength...with it, I'd still be playing softball or baseball.
What are you really bad at that you'd love to be great at?
Typing...I still type with two fingers.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
Going to Hawaii with my wife in 1997. The trip got off to a rocky start with cancelled flights and misplaced baggage, but once we settled in, it was a relaxing vacation.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
I've never had a bad job...I could always adapt to just about anything.
Who would you most like to interview alive or dead, and why?
The late Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko. I read his column religiously every day, and they are as interesting to read today as they were 40 years ago.
What is your favorite tradition around the holidays?
Celebrating with my family and my wife's family. It's nice to see everyone, and the food is always good!
What is your favorite song of all time?
"Only Yesterday" by The Carpenters.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
A tie: Airport and Smokey and the Bandit.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Nice Guys Finish Last by Leo Durocher (baseball).
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Always try to be kind to everyone...it costs you nothing, and it could mean everything to the other person.
If you could relive any moment, what would that be?
My wedding day...what a great day!
Where were you when Sept. 11, 2001 occurred?
I was getting Charlie ready to take him to day care when I turned the TV on just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center...I knew that was no accident. At work there wasn't much for me to do but stay out of the way and watch the reports as they came in. I compiled a document of all of the news of 9/11 as it came in on the Associated Press wires...even reading it today gives me the chills as I had when everything was happening.