Jen Wahl is a reporter and MMJ for 12 Today. Jen began her career in 2009 as a weekend reporter at KBOI in Boise, ID. Two years later, she got her first weather job as a morning weather anchor at KRNV in Reno, NV. Jen then moved to KSNV in Las Vegas, NV as a meteorologist and reporter for two years, before coming to KPNX in 2016. During her career, Jen won an Emmy for reporting on border and immigration issues in South Africa and also producing a 30-minute documentary after the trip.
An Arizona native, Jen was born in Mesa, AZ and grew up in Chandler/Gilbert. Jen grew up watching 12 News and is happy to return to the Valley, where she is proud to call home. She graduated from Mesquite High School in Gilbert. Jen then majored in Elementary Education at Arizona State University for her undergrad, before receiving her master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School at ASU.
Jen has covered racial violence in South Africa, immigration and drug smuggling stories at the Arizona/Mexico border and wildfires in Northern Nevada, one of which almost torched the apartment complex she was living in at the time. In addition to reporting, Jen is passionate about meteorology. She’s forecasted intense snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and desert southwest thunderstorms during the Monsoon season. Whether she’s live on the street or in the studio, Jen just wants to tell good stories and be an advocate for Valley-area residents.
Jen is married and has a son, Oliver. She also has two fur babies, yorkies, Chloey and Jalapeno. Jen enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, hiking, traveling, weekends at the Heber cabins, snowboarding, cooking, volunteering and taking way too many family photos and videos.
About Me: Storyteller and weather nerd by day, proud mama & wife by night. I cherish time with my family, friends & puppies.
Hometown: Gilbert, AZ
City of Residence: Gilbert, AZ
Your Heritage: Greek, Polish, German, Slavic, Czechoslovakian, English
Current Position: Morning reporter, MMJ. I’m also a meteorologist.
(But not an official part of the 12 News weather team. Will be filling in at times.)
When you joined 12 News: February 2016
College Graduated from: Arizona State University – Walter Cronkite School (master’s) College of Education (undergrad)
Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, running, hiking, snowboarding, playing the piano, volunteering, exploring AZ.
Favorite Music: Country, indie rock, folk rock, classical, top 40.
Favorite Song: “Once Upon a Dream” –Sleeping Beauty
Favorite Book(s): “The Great Gatsby” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”
Favorite Quote(s): “If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never be able to sit there and say, I had a piece of that.” -Aaron Brown
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” -Judy Garland
Favorite Food: Anything Chinese. Except I can’t eat gluten anymore, so that makes it tough L
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Travel Destination: Mountains: Heber, AZ. Coast: Laguna Beach. Anywhere: Kona, Hawaii, the Big Island.
Pets: Two fur babies. Yorkies, Chloey and Jalapeno.
Children: Oliver (son)
Hidden Talents: I can out sleep the best of them. Give me a good 15-hour stretch and I’m good to go, any time of the day. However, there’s no time for that anymore.
Favorite Sports Teams: Anything AZ! Cards, Yotes, Devils, Suns, D-Backs.
Favorite Moment in Broadcasting: Covering border and immigration issues in South Africa. I met the most incredible and inspirational people who helped me tell their stories. Also, I love forecasting a good thunderstorm!
Why you decided to work in TV: I was student teaching at Meridian Elementary in the East Valley with the legendary 6th grade teacher, Carol Dangerfield. There, my students inspired me to apply for grad school at Cronkite and follow my dream to tell stories in Phoenix.
Where else you have worked: Reporter in Boise, ID; Weather Anchor in Reno, NV; Meteorologist & Reporter in Las Vegas, NV.
First Story Reported: I covered the Empty Bowls event in Tempe.
Your First Job: Anything: Worked in the media department at Best Buy in Mesa. News: Weekend reporter in Boise, ID.
What People Would Never Guess About You: Although it’s fun to get all dolled up, I’d rather be in yoga pants, a comfy sweatshirt or T, with a headband, pony tail and flip-flops.
What you love about living in Arizona: I love that you can be in the mountains in an hour, hike in the valley, snowboard during winter, catch fun outdoor events when the weather is nice and hit the pool all summer.
Your Biggest Pet Peeve: People who are unkind. Let’s lift each other up, be supportive and celebrate each other’s successes.
Your Prized Possession: Family photos & videos.
What I'm Passionate About: Telling stories & being an advocate for Arizona residents.
Dream Vacation: An around the world cruise.
Copyright 2016 KPNX