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In Movies & TV

Says McCrady, "I enjoy my job. The hours are tough, but I choose to work these hours."

In Movies & TV

"I always try to put myself in someone else's shoes, no matter what the situation."

In Movies & TV

"I find humor in just about everything," she says.

In Movies & TV

"I think when I anchored the weekend morning show, anybody who watched that got to see more of my silly side."

In Movies & TV

McCrady and her colleague Michael Fish, at a parade in Port Washington.

In Movies & TV

McCrady's less serious side, in a dunk tank.

In Movies & TV

Reporting on location.

In Movies & TV

Live from the newsroom ... Beast Mode!

In Movies & TV

At a charity event at the Geneva National Golf Club.

Milwaukee Talks: WTMJ-4 anchor/reporter Melissa McCrady


Whether it's behind the anchor desk or standing in a blizzard, WMTJ-4 reporter Melissa McCrady has made a career of being versatile. The Cleveland native is comfortable in any role at her station, and she says she's proud that viewers have noticed, too.

In her almost six years in Milwaukee, the 31-year-old McCrady has covered some very serious stories, but if you follow her on social media, you'll also know her silly side. She calls it her "split personality."

We recently caught up with McCrady over coffee to talk about star power and prison letters, her favorite Milwaukee restaurants and her decision to stay in town. Enjoy this latest Milwaukee Talks.

OnMilwaukee.com: In this turnover-heavy industry, you've been with your station for nearly six years. That makes you somewhat of a senior reporter, doesn't it?

Melissa McCrady: Yeah, it seems amazing to me that I've been here as long as I have, because the time has flown by. When I started at TMJ-4, I started with everyone who's now left. So of course it's kind of a bittersweet moment. It's kind of sad to see all my friends who I've worked with for the last five and a half years go on to whatever they chose to move on to, but on the other hand, it's kind of nice because I do have more seniority, and I'm able to move up the ladder a little easier. Now that Diane Pathieu has gone to Chicago, I get to take over her noon anchor position, which I'm really excited about. But I was sad to see her go, because she's one of my best friends.

OMC: Is it hard to start working with a new crop of really young reporters?

MM: It's weird to look around, and instead of seeing Heather Shannon, seeing Keller Russell. Instead of seeing Mick Trevey, seeing Cody Holyoke. I will say we've got a good group of new people. They're all extremely dedicated. Even though they may not know Milwaukee that well, you can see their potential and that they're trying. The nice thing is that they ask questions.

OMC: You worked your way up from two smaller markets. Did you learn lessons in those experiences that have prepared you for job job in Milwaukee?

MM: Yes. Even though I thought I was ready for a Milwaukee-sized market after my first job in Sioux Falls, S.D., I wasn't ready. I think, personally, you need at least two TV markets before you come here. That's not the case for everyone, but I want to feel comfortable here, to come in and shine and not to learn from my mistakes (on the job).

OMC: Back in the day, people had to work their way up to Channel 4.

MM: I think it's just the way the entire industry has changed, it's not just Channel 4. You see it all the other stations, as well.

OMC: You're from Cleveland and worked in Toledo before this job. How is Milwaukee different than Cleveland? How is it the same?

MM: I the latter is more of a question. It's very similar. The people are very nice, outgoing, friendly. We have Lake Erie, Milwaukee has Lake Michigan. The only difference is that Milwaukee is a better city. I really believe that. Everyone loves where they grew up. I loved Cleveland, I always will. But I will hands-down say Milwaukee is a better city. It's cleaner, nice, safer. Even my friends who came to visit said, "Wow, I thought people in Ohio were nice, but people in Wisconsin are much nicer."

OMC: Every time I see you on TV you're in a blizzard or it's the middle of the night. Have you developed the reputation as the go-to reporter who's willing to do anything?

MM: I think that's fair, and I'm not saying it as I pat myself on the back. I think the community notices it, too. I can't tell you the number of e-mails and Facebook messages I get with people saying, "Melissa, I feel like you work 24 hours a day. I see you everywhere." I don't mind it, I enjoy my job. The hours are tough, but I choose to work these hours.

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Talkbacks

kayakguy | Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. (report)

It amuses me that someone so young and with such limited time in the profession is portrayed as an old hand and a veteran.

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speakthetruth | Jan. 17, 2012 at 10:14 a.m. (report)

Three cheers for Melissa McCrady. Not only is she the consummate professional on air, she's smart, sweet, and just as pretty in person. ...and her little dog Kurt is Milwaukee's second handsomest canine (after me)

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