Deana Wright

Published On: Jun 12 2014 09:18:56 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 12 2014 09:10:40 AM CDT
Deana Wright

Hometown: Madison, WI

High School: Edgewood High School of the Sacred Heart

College: UW-Madison

Other Media Experience: KJLH/Los Angeles, WVMV/Detroit, WRNB & WJJZ/Philadelphia, WBLS/New York City, WTDY/Madison. My background is in radio, so this is my first TV anchor job!

Started at WISC-TV on: August 2013/’Madison Magazine TV’, May, 2014/’News 3 This Morning’

Twitter: @MsDeanaWright

Facebook: Deana Wright

YouTube: Deana Wright

What is your favorite part about living in Madison?

I love the diversity of the city and the beauty it possesses. I especially enjoy the lakes and green spaces in the warmer months. Plus, there’s a distinct feeling of comfort because it’s my hometown!

What is the biggest news story that you've covered?

In 2008, I covered the presidential inauguration in the nation’s capital. I was also honored to interview President Barack Obama on the phone. I later met him when he spoke at Wright Middle School, named after my dad, the following year.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a self-professed TV-a-holic! I watch anything from news shows to reality shows to cooking shows to DYI shows. I have a few favorite primetime network shows, and I DVR CBS’s ‘The Young and the Restless’ every day! I’m also a social media/Internet junkie. I collect art, like to read, dance, cook/bake, spend time with my family and I enjoy watching sports, especially basketball.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

It depends on the day, really! Sometimes I go for the yummy salted caramel, other times I might order a flavor with chocolate and marshmallows. Or, I’ve been known to try something completely different like fried chicken and waffles flavor or completely boring, like vanilla or chocolate…topped with a dollop of whipped cream, of course!

What is the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?

My son brought a pet rat home from school one day. That evening, I thought he was joking and pretending to be having difficulty breathing. He convinced me to go to our next door neighbor’s house, because he was a physician. Turns out, my son was allergic to the rat! We laugh hysterically about that now…not so much then. One other funny event happened a few years ago. I went out on a date with an ol’ college friend. After dinner, he dropped me off at my house and walked me to the door. When I turned around to thank him again, I saw a big brown spot on his beige khaki pants. “You pooped in your pants!”, I screamed…too funny! What’s worse, I talked about the incident the next day, on the radio in Los Angeles. No worries. I didn’t use his name!

What is your favorite place to vacation?

I’m a warm weather kind of girl, so I love visiting any place where I can find sunshine and a sand-filled beach to lay on. I like Jamaica and the Caribbean, but I love Hawaii. I try to go there every year! Europe comes in a close second, with Italy and Paris being my picks. The food, sights and shopping are fabulous in both places!

Who is your hero and why?

At the risk of sounding corny and predictable…my parents! I was adopted at two months old, and they have always loved me unconditionally.  My folks had parents who were entrepreneurs, who taught them the value of money and financial stability. But, they also taught them to give back. My parents imbued values and morals that I still try to live by each day. Hard work, determination, persistence, honesty, faith in God, a focus on having compassion for others and being a civil servant in the community, keeping your word and helping others…these are just some of the lessons they instilled in me.

What was your favorite band when you were in high school?

Geesh! I really didn’t have a favorite, because I’ve always loved many genres of music and several artists and bands. The list would surely include Earth, Wind & Fire, Journey and Chicago.

What is your favorite sport to play or watch?

I was quite the athlete in high school. I played volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track. These days I play sports occasionally, for fun. I like watching gymnastics, ice skating and basketball. During the NBA playoffs I’m superglued to my TV!

If you could possess one superhuman power, what would it be?

I’d like to be invisible! There are so many doors I creep into, so many walls I’d stick to, so many minds I’d enter and tongues I’d perch upon…all in an effort to discern truth and honesty. It sure would make life a lot easier, huh? If only we could truly know what’s factual!

What are you really bad at that you'd love to be great at?

Singing! I love singing along to any music I hear…on the radio…on a television commercial…anything! I just wish I had a better singing voice. Oh, well.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

That’s a toss-up! I remember going to Jamaica with my family when I was a kid. It was the first time I was exposed to black children who were servants. I recall talking to a little boy and sharing a book with him. It was concerning to me that he couldn’t read. And, my first time in Europe was a complete blast. I traveled with my church choir. We were asked to sing at Notre Dame in Paris and in Freiburg, Germany, Madison’s sister city. The people were fantastic, and the shopping was fab!

What is the worst job you have ever had?

Being a waitress for about a month! Cleaning up after messy customers wasn’t really my idea of fun. Also, I remember making shakes with more ice cream than I was supposed to. I wanted them to be nice and thick…management didn’t!

Who would you most like to interview alive or dead, and why?

I’ve been blessed to interview so many people in my career…politicians, musical artists and celebrities.  I would, however, like to interview my birth parents. Perhaps, one day I’ll find out who they are, locate them and get the opportunity.

What is your favorite tradition around the holidays?

I love all holidays! My favorite is Christmas. I enjoy the hustle bustle of the season, gift-giving and spending time with my family. I’m a practical joker, so I’ve always liked April Fool’s Day too!

What is your favorite song of all time?

I’m a music lover, so I can’t name just one song! I’m inclined to say I like anything with a good hook…most any genre. Just give me a good pop, R&B, gospel or show tune and I’m all good. My all-time favorite go-to music is probably anything sung by Stevie Wonder. I feel honored and blessed to call him friend, too. He’s a former boss of mine!

What is your favorite movie of all time?

“It’s a Wonderful Life”, the original version. It has such a great story line. Every life has purpose, and it’s important to appreciate how very blessed we are. I watch this movie every year at Christmastime!

What is your favorite book of all time?

I have several favorite books. I re-read ‘The Road Less Traveled” every year. It’s inspirational, but in an old-fashioned way!

If you could relive any moment...what would that be?

There are several moments that I’d like to relive…like the time I misspelled the word that knocked me out of the city spelling bee when I was in 6th grade, or the time I represented the city of Madison in the Miss Wisconsin Teenager pageant and didn’t win, almost stumbling on stage…or perhaps the time when I met Michael Jackson and didn’t ask for his autograph…or more importantly, the time I watched as paramedics carted my father into the UW-Hospital emergency room after he had a massive stroke…I often wish that would have played out differently. I miss him so much! But, I don’t live in a world of regrets or “what if’s”. I believe that God is always in control. All of our life experiences, whether good or not-so-good, are a part of who we become…and, therefore necessary.

Where were you when September 11, 2001 occurred?

I was living in the Philadelphia suburbs, preparing to get my daughter off to school and watching NBC’s ‘Today’ show. Like all of us, I watched and listened in complete shock. Later, on my afternoon radio show, which was usually filled with four hours of “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” music and my “Girl Talk” segment…my phone lines were, instead, kept busy with listeners calling to talk about the attack. Indeed, it was a difficult day that I won’t soon forget.

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