WENY News Team
News Director | Anchor
Renata Stiehl is a Twin Tiers native with a passion for local news.
She joined the WENY-HD NEWS team in May 2005 as a producer. Over the past several years, she’s worn many hats, including health reporter, and now as Executive Producer and Assistant News Director, as well as 5:30pm and 6:00pm Anchor.
Renata grew up in the Northern Tier, graduating from Towanda High School and getting her degree from Mansfield University in Broadcasting. Before she was hired at WENY-HD, she interned at the station, where she got valuable hands-on experience in reporting and news writing.
In addition to all she does at WENY-HD, Renata also volunteers her time with the Children’s Miracle Network and is on the Board of Directors for the Sullivan Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross.
When she’s not working, Renata enjoys reading, learning to cook and spending time with her husband and dog.
As a senior at Watkins Glen High School and while attending Corning Community College, John was spinning records at local radio stations in Watkins and Elmira. Thus began a career in broadcasting that has spanned nearly four decades, several states and many countries.
Already recognized as one of the nation’s best disk jockeys, John decided to pursue journalism while working in San Diego. Since then, he’s reported from Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall, and from Baghdad on the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Along the way, John’s won Emmy Awards for his reporting and his work on the anchor desk. A few years ago, he became a proud inductee into the “National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle.”
With John’s addition to the WENY News Team, he comes full circle: “I’ve interviewed many famous, and infamous, people in my career. “I’ve traveled to other countries to report on historic events. “But, I’ve always known I’d come back. This is Home.”
Good Morning Twin Tiers Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Kellie joined the WENY-HD News team in March 2013 as general assignment reporter. Kellie's no stranger to the Twin Tiers, she's been visiting her grandparents in Sayre ever since she was a child.
Kellie grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and moved to Philadelphia for college. She graduated from Temple University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Kellie realized her passion for news reporting at 19, during her first internship at WBRE-TV in Wilkes-Barre, PA. From there on out she interned every chance she could. Wanting to learn as much as possible about the field.
One of Kellie's favorite experiences was when she moved to London, England to study abroad her junior year of college and interned in travel journalism. Kellie was a born traveler, her father being a pilot for US Airways and spent her whole life traveling. But it wasn't until she started traveling abroad at 17 then again when she studied abroad, that she truly learned about the world. She says it was one of the best things she could have ever done and truly made her grown as a person.
But Kellie couldn't stay away from the newsroom for long, following her travels she returned to Philadelphia and interned with Fox-29 and CBS-3.
Kellie graduated in May 2011 but wanted to do one last internship program before she left for good. Kellie always wanted to move to Los Angeles and work in television so she took the opportunity to go there with Temple's program after she graduated. And she had one incredible summer, living in the Hollywood Hills and interning at Paramount Pictures with The Dr. Phil Show and Nickelodeon on their kids show 'Supah Ninjas', and with Cheri Sundae Productions. Kellie loved her California summer and brings what she learned there and all her internships to her job today. She says she wouldn't be where she is today without all these experiences.
Kellie had once last thing to do before she started her career in TV. She always wanted to move back to london to live and work for a year, before starting in news. She says she wanted to Learn about the world before she started reporting on it. And that's just what she did. From January 2012 through just before starting at WENY she lived in london working with her old internship company from her study abroad. It was one of the biggest challenges she ever faced but said she wouldn't be the same without it. And she made the most of that year. Traveling all over the world- from the beautiful islands of Thailand, to exotic Croatia, down under to Australia and all over Europe from the Cannes film festival, to the queens diamond jubilee, to being at as many events as possible at the london 2012 Olympic Games. She took advantage of all the events but knew one thing was missing, she missed reporting. So she returned in December 2012 and found her way to the WENY.
Kellie is so thrilled to finally have made it as a reporter after all her internships and travels and happy to be here in the Twin Tiers. Feel free to contact Kellie at firstname.lastname@example.org she loves meeting new people and hearing new stories and can't wait to meet all of you!
Anchor | Producer | Reporter
Jennifer joined WENY-HD News in March 2013 as a producer, anchor and reporter. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2011 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a concentration in Television.
Over the course of her college years Jennifer worked in several aspects of television journalism, from documentary TV to international reporting. She was an intern for Kurtis Productions where she worked with Bill Kurtis and his team to make documentary’s for CNBC. She was credited for her work on the show Crime Inc. where she worked on an depth investigation of human trafficking in the United States. She also helped produce the show American Greed.
Jennifer’s international studies took her to an array of different EU countries where she navigated thru the international press corps, working with the French Embassy, U.S. Embassy, European Union, United Nations and the International Criminal Court. She reported on the ghettos of Paris, the ICC trial of the former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Jean-Pierre Bemba, and much more.
She was also an anchor and reporter for Columbia College Chicago’s live newscast Newsbeat.
Jennifer traveled abroad every summer since she was a baby to visit her family in Poland. More recently she has enjoyed the life and music of Downtown Chicago where she has lived for the past six years. She is an avid boxer, loves Reggae music, the beach, and taking long bike rides with her best friend and dog Pocha.
She wants to thank her Mom and Dad for the tremendous amount of support and love they have always given her.
Joe Veres can be seen weeknights on WENY-HD NEWS at 6:00pm and 11:00pm. Originally from Parsippany, New Jersey, Joe had an early interest in weather. In elementary school he would entertain his family with weather forecasts gathered from watching the Weather Channel. In high school Joe gained valuable experience working at ION Weather, and became the "go-to guy" for the inside scoop on impending snow storms. Joe's next stop was Lyndon State College in northern Vermont where he studied Meteorology and Communications. While in college, Joe gained on air experience doing fill in work at WCAX in Burlington. He also interned at FOX 5 in New York City. Upon graduation Joe headed north to WAGM in Presque Isle Maine. In just three months he was promoted to the 6 and 11pm newscasts. After a long cold winter in potato country of northern Maine, Joe and his wife Donna headed for the warmer climate of the Twin Tiers. Joe has been the Chief Meteorologist at WENY-HD since 2000 and is the only local Meteorologist to hold the prestigous National Weather Association Seal of Approval. Joe is active in the local community often going to schools and talking to students about weather safety. In his spare time Joe enjoys working around the house and traveling with friends and family. He and his wife Donna, daughter Madelyn, and son Joseph reside in Big Flats.
Good Morning Twin Tiers | Weather
Craig is happy to be part of the First Warning Weather Team at WENY News. You can watch Craig weekday mornings on Good Morning Twin Tiers and WENY News at Noon.
Craig is a Central New York native and has been interested in the weather since he was nine years old. Craig recalls the tornado outbreak across Central New York in May 1998 and credits that outbreak to his interest in the weather. “I remember driving around with my Dad and seeing all the damage from an F3 tornado that ripped through a neighboring town. The damage was incredible and it made me wonder what makes the atmosphere do that?”
Craig jumpstarted his television career while in high school, landing an internship at a station in Albany. “Eventually they started paying me” Craig says. It was at WTEN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Albany, where he gained valuable forecasting experience. Craig worked at the station through college and after graduating ended up as the weekend weather anchor. He was at WTEN-TV for almost seven years.
From there, Craig moved into a similar position at FOX23 News in Albany. He has also worked at stations in Utica, NY and Burlington, VT. In addition to his television work, Craig's forecasts have been heard several radio stations throughout New York and New England.
To date, one of the most memorable weather events in Craig’s career is Tropical Storm Irene. “I remember being on the air literally all day with live weather updates. We were wall-to-wall with coverage of the storm from roughly ten in the morning through midnight and I distinctly remember almost losing my voice by the end of the day. It was such an adrenaline rush for me, but at the same time, it was a devastating storm for many upstate New York residents” says Craig.
Craig has always worked hard to bring viewers the most accurate and reliable information and enjoys being the “communicator” letting you know whether or not to bring along an umbrella. Craig enjoys the long winters and the summers are beautiful here in New York State. However, he does admit that he wishes the summer months lasted a little bit longer. If you run into Craig around the Twin Tiers, make sure to say hello!
Andy came to WENY-HD in February 2009 as a sports reporter and then worked his way up to Sports Director in October 2010. Andy currently anchors at 5:30 and 6 pm weeknights on WENY-HD NEWS. A Horseheads native, and once intern at the station in spring 2006, Andy’s honored to return home and cover sports for the area he grew up in.
Andy graduated from Ithaca College in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Media, and received a Master's Degree in Communication Studies from Shippensburg University in December 2008. While at Shippensburg, Andy was actively involved with WSYC 88.7 FM radio where he hosted his own weekly show "Sportainment," and did play-by-play for numerous Red Raider athletics. He received the exceptional DJ Award for broadcasting excellence, and also covered sports for The Slate student newspaper. During his time in South Central Pennsylvania, Andy worked in the Shippensburg University sports information office, and assisted WHP-TV CBS sports in Harrisburg. Andy created a documentary on the 1990 Shippensburg Little League National Champions, and it's now a part of the Little League Baseball Museum video archives.
In his time at WENY-HD, Andy’s work has been honored several times by the NYS Associated Press (AP) for best annual sports coverage, as well as by The Syracuse Press Club for best sports story of the year. Additionally, Andy is on the board for The Chemung County Sports Hall of Fame, worked as the play-by-play voice of WELM 1410 AM for high school football and basketball, and served as a color analyst and voice for RLMSports.Net.
In his spare time, Andy loves to hang out with friends & family, watch pro wrestling, and enjoys writing. Some of his work is published by the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, and has been featured in Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. If you see Andy out, say hello and get ready to talk sports.
Jenna Cottrell joined WENY-HD in September of 2013, as Sports Reporter and Anchor.
Jenna has a strong connection to upstate NY. She grew up just outside of Albany in Saratoga Springs
and is a proud Orange Alumni. Jenna graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in
broadcast journalism and political science.
She grew up playing sports but never thought she could turn her love of them into a career. It was
not until getting to SU and realizing psychology definitely was not her thing that Jenna decided to
pursue her dream job.
During her college years she interned at WRGB and WTEN in Albany, as well as WAER in Syracuse, NY.
She enjoyed her time and the people she met at all of her internships, but is especially grateful to
have covered the New York Giants Training Camp during the summer of 2012.
On the highlight reel is also the time Jenna spent working production for ESPN. She had a great time
covering the X-Games and exploring the ESPN campus.
In her spare time Jenna enjoys watching sports and eating food. Life is really about the simple
pleasures. She also includes working out into the mix as well as hanging out with her amazing group
of family and friends.
Jenna would like to thank her family and close friends for their support and love over the years.
Tanja joined the WENY-HD NEWS team in December 2012. Before coming to the Twin Tiers, Tanja worked freelance as a reporter, writer and, production assistant at an international station called Ebru TV. A New Jersey native, she graduated Cum Laude from Montclair State University this past May with a dual major in Broadcasting and English and a minor in Journalism. She also held internships in New York City with NY1, WABC, and WWOR.
During her time as a student, Tanja was the news editor of the school newspaper and reported and anchored frequently for “Carpe Diem” and “Inside MSU.” She also was president of her sorority, Omega Phi Chi, which aims to promote multiculturalism, community service and women empowerment.
Tanja had a unique opportunity to travel to the Middle East in Tunisia, exactly a year after the uprising, to learn about the country that sparked the Arab Spring. She had an amazing experience and learned how important social media was to revolutionaries during a time of government censorship.
When she isn’t reporting, Tanja loves to kick box, run, bake, sing and read. She loves learning about different cultures and fluently speaks Punjabi. Her full name is Ratanjot, which is a Sikh name meaning “the diamond of God’s light.” Though she’s a Jersey girl at heart, she’s excited to make new friends out here in Elmira and finally learn how to pump gas!
Nick started at WENY-HD NEWS in May 2011 as the night side editor and photographer, and moved to the newsroom as a reporter in April 2013.
Nick has had a camera in his hand since he was a young kid. From begging his parents to let him use their 8mm Handycam, to saving up money for his first digital camcorder as a teenager, Nick has always been interested in shooting and editing video. Nick's work has been featured on VH1, MTV, and Youtube. His work at WENY-HD NEWS won awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
Originally from the Capital District, Nick moved to the Southern Tier, and has called it home since 2004. In 2007 he enlisted in the Armed Forces, and honorably served his country for several years. During his time in the military he traveled all over the globe, crossing every degree of longitude, and meeting people who make up the world we live in. During Nick's service, he was twice awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
On the weekends, Nick loves to travel and explore the area, taking random day trips throughout Upstate New York, and if the weather is bad, he can be found glued to his computer playing video games, or watching his favorite movies.
Asha McKenzie is a New Jersey native and she joined WENY News in March 2014 as a general assignment reporter. Asha graduated Cum Laude from Montclair State University with a degree in Broadcasting. She studied abroad in Madrid, Spain where she produced a documentary on the art of Flamenco dancing.
Before coming to the Twin Tiers, Asha worked as a Desk Assistant at WABC in New York City.
Asha loves to travel and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has a passion for news and is excited explore the Twin Tiers.
Samantha joined the WENY News team in June of 2014, as a news reporter.
As an Elmira native and Southside High School alum, she is excited to be home and to be reporting on issues that personally affect her family and friends. Samantha attended the University at Albany where she earned her degree in political science and journalism.
During college, Samantha worked her way up from cameraman to Vice President of Albany Student Television. She also ran her own news show called “ATV 360,” in which she produced, directed, edited and occasionally anchored. She realized her passion for reporting when she landed an internship at WENY in 2012. Soon after her internship, she began actively reporting for Albany Student Television in hopes of coming back home and working full time as a news reporter.
During the summer of 2013, Samantha studied abroad in India working with the Global Citizens for Sustainable Development. While in India she worked with underprivileged kids teaching them English, math and how to limbo, while they taught her how to speak Kannada (very little) and how to play cricket. She also worked with other students from Kuwait, India and the U.S., and together they built a home for a woman and her grandson.
Samantha loves to travel whenever possible and especially enjoys going new places. Even though Elmira is home, she is excited to explore different parts of the Twin Tiers.
Shaun Hegarty serves as Investigative Reporter. Each day he digs into stories that try to uncover government waste and shady business practices. Shaun is based out of Toledo, Ohio at WENY's sister station WTVG where he's covered Presidential campaigns, point shaving scandals, and several high profile crime case among other assignments. He comes to SJL broadcasting after his time at Fox Toledo (WUPW). He served as News Anchor/Executive Producer when then newsroom was closed in 2012. His duties at Fox Toledo started as a reporter, before eventually moving to the anchor desk. South Texas was home for Shaun and his wife before Toledo. He was a Weekday Reporter/Weekend Producer for KRIS, the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas. The highlight of his time there was certainly his ride with the Blue Angels during one of their visits to NAS Kingsville. Rumors of Shaun getting ill during that flight are in fact true. Shaun is a Philadelphia area native and the Philadelphia Eagles cause most of his heartache. He's a graduate of Syracuse University with a dual Major of Broadcast Journalism from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communication and Political Science from the College of Arts and Science. Shaun and his wife Sara have two kids, Leah and JJ.
Washington, DC Bureau
Jacqueline Policastro rejoins the Lilly Broadcasting Washington, DC Bureau as Bureau Chief and Correspondent. She created the bureau in 2007. Jacqueline covered Congress and the White House for Lilly Broadcasting affiliates throughout the nation. She then signed on to the evening anchor desk at CBS WSEE TV in Erie, PA. Jacqueline most recently worked as a reporter and anchor at CBS WISH TV in Indianapolis, IN where she has been honored for her breaking news reporting.
Jacqueline covered the Indiana Democrats walk out over right to work, the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as the 2004 Republican Convention. She reported on several candidates on the 2008 campaign trail, the Pope’s first visit to the United States, President Bush’s State of the Union Addresses, and the 2009 G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh.
Jacqueline was chosen to moderate a live debate between the Democratic candidates running for the PA-3 Congressional seat, one of the hottest races in the nation during campaign '08. She was also a panelist alongside several national journalists during the event, "Full Disclosure: The Media and the 2008 Election." Jacqueline was part of the team that won a 2009 Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Award.
Jacqueline worked for Associated Press Television in Washington, DC and spent time at the ABC News bureau in Washington and the Fox News Channel in New York City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.
She attended BU’s Sydney, Australia and Washington, DC journalism programs. Jacqueline is a Paul Miller Washington Fellow, an NAB Professional Fellow, and a Fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation.
She is originally from New Jersey.
Washington, DC Bureau
Lauren joined the Lilly Broadcasting Washington DC Bureau in December 2013. There, she covers local lawmakers' reactions to the stories that affect their constituents.
Before joining the DC Bureau, Lauren worked for two years in Erie, Pa. She started as a producer and reporter, then anchored SEE News at 6, SEE News on the CW at 10 and SEE News at 11.
She had the opportunity in 2012 to travel to Las Vegas to cover the Miss America Pageant.
She was born and raised in Erie, and graduated in May 2011 with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University. She is the 2011 recipient of the Tim Russert Medal of Merit Award.
Lauren loves spending time with my family and friends and cheering on any Pittsburgh sports team!