Nicole Koglin has been a member of the FOX 6 WakeUp News team since September 2004.
And, she's not really a morning person.
That was just one of the tidbits unearthed during a recent conversation with Koglin, a Menomonee Falls native whose on-air colleague, Mark Concannon, ends a 20-year run with the station this week.
We also learned that Koglin has a great sense of humor about herself, her unusual working hours, her upcoming wedding and a somewhat bizarre cat accessory she recently purchased via the Internet.
Enjoy this Milwaukee Talks interview with Nicole Koglin.
OnMilwaukee.com: We have to start by asking the question you probably hear most often. What's it like to get up so early in the morning?
Nicole Koglin: We start at 4 in the morning. It's the funniest thing. I've been on the shift just over five years and people say, "Oh, you must be a morning person." Nothing could be further from the truth. And then, they say "Well, how are you so happy (on the air)?" Do you want me to get on TV and tell you how I really feel? No. They're not going to pay me to do that. The hours are brutal. On a (warm spring) day like this, it's beautiful. I'm off at lunch. I'll be asleep by 6:30 (p.m.).
NK: I know, that's brutal.
OMC: What time do you have to get up?
NK: I get up at 2:45 a.m. During the summer, or especially now with the time change, most people like having a little more daylight. I hate it.
Now, I go to bed and literally hear the neighborhood kids outside playing outside and I think "My life sucks." (laughs) What are you going to do?
OMC: Weekends must be tough.
NK: (Friday) is the brutal one. There is a nap involved. Doctors all say that "If you keep your schedule ..." That's not going to happen. When you're going to bed at the time you're usually getting up, that's rough.
OMC: What's your preferred caffeine delivery system in the morning?
NK: Coffee. Straight coffee. That's a good amount of coffee we put down.
OMC: How does a girl from Menomonee Falls reach the FOX 6 WakeUp News?
NK: I went to Madison -- Go Badgers! -- and that's where I got sucked into journalism school. It was kind of like a process of elimination. "I don't want to do that, I don't want to do that. (I've got a) short attention span ... OK, TV."
I worked as a waitress and a bartender in college and people would say "What are you studying?" I'd say "Journalism." And, they'd say "So, what are you going to do -- sales?" I never really had a backup plan.
I was in Madison for four years. I should have strung that college thing out longer, but I was out of Madison in four years. What was I thinking?
I tried to take the farthest job offer from home because I was born and raised here in Wisconsin. So, I went out to Idaho for two years.
OMC: What market?
NK: Idaho Falls. It's four hours east of Boise. It's really small. I lugged my own camera. I drove my own news car.
OMC: Sounds fun.
NK: The thing about any first TV job is that you're there with a bunch of young people from across the country who are also really far from home. It's funny to think back -- some of my best memories and most fun times are in Idaho.
And, after you've lived in Idaho for a while, Wisconsin looks awesome. I was like, "I've go to get back home." I spent a couple years out there. Then, I was at a station in Springfield, Mo., for a little while until I came back to Milwaukee. That was five years ago in September, so it's been a while.
OMC: Did you start out reporting?
NK: I started, actually, when we still had a weekend morning show. That is what started the gig here. I signed up for this morning thing. Thinking back, I don't know what I was thinking. (laughs)
OMC: You guys always seem to be having a good time.
NK: We have so much fun. I'm lucky. I do like ad-libbing and just kind of talking and having a good time. We do that for 4 1/2 hours. We cover some good news and things like that, but those people (on the show) -- they're a hoot. We have a good time. I'm lucky to be part of that team.
OMC: You probably don't get to see everyone on the team, like the people who work at night.
NK: Everyone is always asking "What is so-and-so really like?" I don't know what Vince (Condella) is like. I almost never see him. It's totally different shifts. You might as well be in different buildings. That's how different it is.
NK: He's a professional. He's a great guy to work with. A total pro.
OMC: What kind of stories do you like to work on?
NK: I think some of the neatest stories come from everyday people. There are a lot of good stories, whether it's something cheesy ... In news, you can't win. Here is my little rant -- people will say "The news is so negative, blah, blah, blah." Then, when you run stories about the fluffy puppy, people say "Oh, you're wasting my time." You can't win. Some of those good stories are among my favorites.
OMC: Do you have a favorite interview that you've done?
NK: Not really. I got to interview the fastest potato peeler in the world when I worked in Idaho.
OMC: Did he have all his digits?
NK: It was a chick. She had all her digits.
OMC: There must be some big interviews. Do you ever get star struck?
NK: Not really. We do a lot of satellite interviews. I'm going old-school here. My rock star, cry-when-I-see-him-in-concert guy is Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20. I did interview him once via satellite when I worked in Missouri. I must have sounded like an 11-year-old girl.
OMC: What about Danny Gokey? You've interviewed him a number of times.
NK: Poor Danny. I think Danny is going to try to get a restraining order on me. Just so you know -- and I told him -- I just went to Nashville in November, because I'm like the "(American) Idol" reporter and they keep sending me -- I told him "Dude, I don't ask for these assignments. I don't want you to think I'm up on your junk." (laughs) I just keep getting sent to this stuff. He's a good guy. He's having such success. I feel like he's my little brother. I'm really proud of him."
OMC: Do you have any outstanding skills or quirks we should know about?
NK: Not really. I'm boring.
OMC: What's this about a cat stroller?
NK: Who told you that?
NK: All right, I'm a bit of a closet crazy cat lady. I only have one. I had that cat before I had my fiancee. I found him in Missouri, so his name is Mo.
OMC: The cat, or your fiancee?
NK: The cat. So, I've had him for a while and we recently got a dog. Now, the cat gets jealous when I go for a walk with the dog, so I seriously just ordered a cat stroller online. I can't believe I'm telling you that.
My fiancee said "You can't do that in public." I don't care what the neighbors think.
OMC: What kind of dog do you have?
NK: We have an Australian Shepherd that is 7 months old named Molly. The cat's name is Mo. Molly is one of those -- you know how you name the dog and then the next five weeks every dog you meet is named Molly and you go "Ugh. How unoriginal is that?" But, I'm not going to take it back.
OMC: How are things with the fiancee (Jason)?
NK: His biggest downfall is the fact that he's a Vikings fan. My grandmother, I'm not joking, when we started dating years ago my grandmother said "Is this serious?" just because he's a Vikings fan. He's from Minnesota, so I let it slide. And, I really enjoy smack-talking. We both do. I think that's why we're getting married.
OMC: How long have you been engaged? Have you set a date?
NK: It's been about a year. (We're getting married in) October this year and, by the way, my friends are so mad. I'm a Badgers fan and I'm actually getting married on UW's homecoming. Not only that, but Wisconsin is playing Minnesota that day. By the time Jason and I see each other at the end of the aisle, one of us is going to be royally pissed off. Is that the start to a happy marriage?
OMC: Give me the proposal story. How did he pop the question?
NK: It was actually on Valentine's Day which is funny. I'm not really like a "chick" chick, so we don't celebrate it, usually. That's why he popped the question that day. I wasn't expecting it.
OMC: Back to work, what is the best part about working where you grew up?
NK: I love it here. I feel like I have the opportunity to be myself that's what I love about Wisconsin and I love about the Midwest. East Coast; West Coast -- you can keep them. It's like we're genuine and people take you for what you are. Even in the (TV) business, you don't have to put up some front and be something you're not. They'll like you for who you are. If they don't, well, deal with it.
OMC: Do you feel more "connected" because you are here?
NK: Being from here makes it so neat. You come and report on Summerfest and know it's a big deal. But, I grew up going to Summerfest. I get to actually report on things that have always been part of my life. That's neat. That's a privilege.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.