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In Living

Mallet, covering last year's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

In Living

Mallet and his horse, Jenkins, showing off their equitation ribbon.

Milwaukee Talks: WTMJ-4 anchor/reporter George Mallet




Audio Podcast: WTMJ-4's George Mallet talks about his station's switch to HD
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When George Mallet left Philadelphia, the fourth largest TV market in the county, for Milwaukee's WTMJ-4, he knew he was making a career move in the right direction. Not only was Milwaukee love at first sight for the anchor / reporter, but the chance to work at a top station in this city -- versus an understaffed FOX affiliate in Philly -- was too good to resist.

Mallet was heavily recruited for the position, and living in Milwaukee affords the East Coast native a chance to pursue his new passion, horseback riding. To that end, Mallet actually leases an appendix quarter horse from a stable in Fredonia and equitation gives him a chance to decompress from a hectic schedule: "On a day that I ride, I swear my heart beats slower all day long," he says.

Mallet, who is currently in the process of getting divorced, is also an accomplished watercolor artist, who paints cards for friends and participated in a show a few years ago in Philadelphia.

"Lately I've been painting a lot of horses," he says.

We caught up with Mallet recently for this latest Milwaukee Talks, in which the 6-foot-4-inch anchor discussed trends in TV news, reporting in Guam and of course, his horse, Jenkins.

OnMilwaukee.com: Tell us the George Mallet story. You cut your teeth in print, right, in New York City?

George Mallet: I started at the Associated Press, but mostly I made coffee. I did have a job as a news clerk and I wrote one piece, which I didn't get a byline for.

I grew up in Delaware. I was lucky to get in the door (in New York City). I got to meet the people that I idolized, guys whose bylines I knew. We were right across the street from NBC News, and I used to tag along with photographers when they'd go over there to take pictures of Jane Pauley and whoever her big guest was. I was like, "Man, I like this." But the AP helped me get across the street, because my journalism professor from the University of Delaware had been an AP writer. He called (an NBC correspondent) who opened the door for me to make coffee at NBC, as opposed to the AP.

OMC: I read that you worked in Guam. Really?

GM: Yes, I was working at NBC, and there was a foreign editor there who had started his career in Guam. I wanted to be a reporter, and he said, "Go to Guam." He called up the news director, and I talked to him over the phone and sent him a tape.

OMC: How old were you then?

GM: It was 1988, so I was 23. I went to Guam, but I didn't stay there long. TV there was absolutely horrible. I didn't know anything, but I went in the control room one day and the producer and the director were smoking a bong. I wasn't a puritan, but I wasn't going to end up with any useful tape there, so I cut my losses.

OMC: Then you did some time in the South, right?

GM: I did a lot of time in South. I worked down there for 13 years. A couple years in eastern North Carolina, then 10 years in Raleigh-Durham. I loved North Carolina; it's a great place.

OMC: Then you jumped to Philadelphia, which is a much larger market, isn't it?

GM: Yeah, and that's my hometown, too. The TV station was like 35 miles from my parents' house. I got all my other jobs by myself, but when I got to North Carolina, I signed with an agent. Then I made a jump to a major market.

OMC: It would seem to me that doing morning TV in a huge market, in your hometown, is about as good as it can get, professionally. Why did you come to Milwaukee?

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Talkbacks

blackchowjade | April 23, 2009 at 10:49 p.m. (report)

Dear George Mallet: I don't know anything about how your system works on the talkback show where you now reside in Milwaukee. I don't expect this to make it to any forum. I just hope this personal message reaches you. I am from the suburbs of Philadelphia. It has been 3 and a half years since my sisters black chow chow Jade was rescued off Burlington Island. It was one of the worst days of my life when I saw her the day before she died. I know that you also were very emotional that day on your program. Jade was owned by my sister Gale. I always wanted to thank you in person for bringing her tragic ordeal to the public hoping someone would come forward with some information leading to the arrest of such a horrible and barbaric human being. I still have nightmares about seeing her in the condition she was in. I loved that dog more than anyone could possibly ever know. I do believe in my heart she stayed alive long enough to see someone she loved, and that loved her very much. I still send cards to John Haldis (he got her off the island in his boat). Anyway Thank you for really caring. I miss seeing you on Fox 29 Good Day. I hope whoever reads this first finds it in their heart to get this message to you. Good Luck in your new home. Best Wishes Valerie Klein

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High_Life_Man | April 22, 2009 at 8:44 a.m. (report)

Courtney coming to the horse show....uh huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh.

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alba | April 21, 2009 at 12:44 p.m. (report)

He's a funny guy. Even though he likes to wear skin-tight t-shirts, I like him.

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LegallyBlonde | April 21, 2009 at 12:26 p.m. (report)

Like this guy. He's a breath of fresh air. He swears and isn't afraid to say what he thinks. Goal for 09: Do a shot with Mallet.

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Anti_GeorgeWill | April 21, 2009 at 12:22 p.m. (report)

crash1292-here is how to make enough money to have a horse, work hard, get some training in a good career.

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