Katie Phernetton Living Childhood Dream as Television News Journalist

Katie Phernetton Living Childhood Dream as Television News Journalist

Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Katie Phernetton, an Emmy-nominated, nationally acclaimed syndicated journalist, has become an incredibly successful alumna of Notre Dame Academy. 

Phernetton graduated from NDA in 2009 and is now the executive producer and morning anchor of Daybreak, the morning show for Channel 18, WQOW in Eau Claire. She oversees its broadcast and spearheads the live studio guest segments.

“My job involves the tri-fecta of the newsroom,” she explained. “Producing, reporting and anchoring.”

After winning a contest designed to select the newest on-air personality, Phernetton started reporting for both CW-14 and Fox 11 here in Green Bay.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid,” said Phernetton of her job. “I think NDA helped bring out the confidence in myself to do it.”

Phernetton was a central reporting figure on the Coronavirus pandemic, acting to apprise, inform and comfort countless Wisconsinites during unprecedented times. 

“It’s hard to report every single day about people dying,” she shared. “There’s no break from it. To be candid, it’s been really tough.”

They’ve also had to adapt as a station to cope with the changes brought on by the pandemic, such as pivoting to digital interviews and social distancing in the anchor rooms. 

But from interviewing Gov. Tony Evers to sourcing the latest news, Phernetton worked to make this strange epoch a little better for everybody.

Every day, Phernetton arrives at the station at 3 a.m. in order to review her script and the production’s technical aspects before the show airs at 4:30 a.m. Iin the face of such long hours, her dedication to her job is truly admirable. 

“After the show, I produce content for the next day and help our reporters with their assignments,” she explained. “About once a month I will be working on a longer story, usually as a part of our Digging Deeper brand.”

Reflecting on her time at NDA, Phernetton believes that the values it instilled in her have proved invaluable in the professional world and in her particular career. 

“They helped set me up for success as a teen,” she said. “They’re with me in everything I do: every interview, every story, every interaction. That prepared me more than any class or activity ever could.”