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Jennifer Mayerle


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Jennifer Mayerle happily returned to Minnesota and WCCO, where she began her career as a summer intern. The Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist returned to WCCO as a reporter in 2014 and later also anchored WCCO Saturday Morning for 6 years. Then in early 2024 she focused on her new role as Senior Investigative Reporter.

Jennifer likes to tell stories that positively impact the community. Her investigations have exposed gaps in law, prompted federal and state Attorney Generals investigations, launched legislative hearings and the passage of state laws designed to protect people while holding businesses and people accountable.

In 2019, Jennifer began her yearslong investigation into Water Gremlin's manufacturing plant with a history of pollution, which led to Minnesota's notable status as the first state in the country to ban the toxic cancer-causing chemical TCE. Her investigation documented the migration of lead into worker's homes and the poisoning of children, which forced the state to order the temporary shutdown of the plant and ultimately court oversight of its operations. Water Gremlin filed for bankruptcy in 2023 following many lawsuits accusing the plant of causing cancer, chronic illness and wrongful death.

Jennifer led the team that won an Emmy for the groundbreaking special "State of Policing." The killing of George Floyd provoked widespread outrage and demands for changes in policing. This special brought together law enforcement and the community for remarkably candid, informed discussions and an in-depth look at how training has evolved to meet demands for transparency and accountability.

Her ongoing series "Cost of Gunfire" explores the true cost to the persons, families and community. Stories focus on those who survived, as well as the trauma endured by family and loved ones, the doctors and nurses who work to save lives, and community members who witness the aftermath of gunfire and offer hope and healing to those affected.

Jennifer was on the 'CCO news team recognized with a regional Murrow award for its coverage of the Jacob Wetterling case. It marked the end of the mystery of who took the 11-year-old St. Joseph boy 27 years earlier.

She has also been recognized in Minnesota with numerous other awards. She felt particularly honored by her Murrow for Spreading Kindness: the uplifting story of a young girl with cancer who, along with her sisters, formed a friendship with their garbage men, exchanging greetings on their arrival with signs, happy waves, excitement and smiles.

Just prior to joining WCCO, Jennifer worked at CBS in Atlanta, where she was recognized for excellence in reporting and for community involvement. Her in-depth look at the long-lasting impact of concussions and repeated hits to the head to athletes from youth to the pro level helped prompt Georgia legislators to pass The Return to Play Act, a law designed to protect young athletes.

In 2011 she reported on Ann Bartlett, a woman who died in a house fire due to the failure, as Jennifer discovered, of firefighters to respond to her 911 call. Her reports were recognized with an Emmy, a Murrow and a Georgia Associated Press award.

On a related note, her highly publicized series of reports on counterfeit fire alarms purchased by Atlanta Fire Rescue for distribution to low-income residents prompted an FBI investigation, which forced the department to recall and replace more than 18,000 alarms. Immediately after, one of the replacement detectors alerted and saved a family of six from a fire that destroyed their home.

During her time in Atlanta, she did occasional reports on The Insider and CNN and contributed profiles of prominent individuals to The Atlantan monthly magazine.

Prior to Atlanta, Jennifer worked as a weekend anchor/reporter for WKRG in Mobile, Ala. There she gained international exposure for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She won her first Emmy and Murrow for her interview with Hardy Jackson in Biloxi, Mississippi just hours after his wife was swept from his grasp by the flood waters. It was one of the first stories of human suffering to emerge from Katrina's wreckage. Jennifer and Hardy became friends, and she maintained her connection to Hardy until his death in 2013.

Jennifer began her career at KWES in Midland, TX, as a weekend anchor/reporter.

Jennifer enjoys her work with community. She is a mentor with Minnetonka High School's VANTAGE program and is on the Advisory Council for Assistance League of Minneapolis St. Paul. She also volunteers as an emcee, speaker and judge for nonprofits and at special events.

She was born and raised in Edina and graduated from the University of San Diego. 

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Joined WCCO: 2014
Hometown: Edina, Minnesota
Alma Mater: University of San Diego

Music: Zac Brown Band
Movie: Field of Dreams
TV Show: CBS Sunday Morning
Author: Emily Giffin
Food: Walleye
Local Restaurant: Spoon & Stable
Hidden MN Gem: Gilfillan Estate
Sport/Exercise: Barre
Historical Figure: Amelia Earhart
Famous Minnesotan: Prince
Quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." – Maya Angelou
Word: Snooze
Vacation Spot: Family cabin up north
Holiday: Christmas
Planet: Earth
Facebook or Twitter? Instagram
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles
Comedy or Tearjerker? Comedy
Phone Call or Text Message? Text
Mac or PC? PC
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Morning Person or Night Person? Night
East Coast vs. West Coast? West
'Grey Duck' or 'Goose'? Grey Duck

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