Chris Earl brought his dozen years of on-air experience to KCRG-TV9 in April 2008.
Chris Earl has been a part of KCRG-TV9 since April 2008, arriving in Eastern Iowa a mere six weeks before the historical flood that scarred Cedar Rapids forever. From those early days of learning of this new city that he and his family would grow to love, Chris has spent years telling the stories of people ever since.
Starting each weekday at 4:30 a.m., Chris anchors First News, the Early Morning News and the KCRG-TV9 Morning News with Nicole Agee and also is the anchor of the KCRG-TV9 News at Midday, which runs from 11 a.m. until noon.
Aside from his years of anchoring in Eastern Iowa, Chris has also covered just about every presidential politician asking Iowans for a vote, including the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the 2012 and 2016 Iowa Caucuses as well as the 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial, House and Senate races.
His most memorable reports, however, come from meeting people on, at times, their best days but, far too often, their worst days when a tragedy has led to a reporter knocking on their door. He’s often humbled by the kindness of people willing to open up and share their story.
Always try and treat the people in these stories with grace and decorum, Chris says of reporting news.
Chris’ reporting has been recognized by the Iowa Broadcast News Association, where he has won multiple awards, including the 2013 first-place award for “Overall Excellence in Reporting – Large Market” and a third-place finish in the same category in 2012. He has been fortunate to earn six Emmy nominations for his anchoring work since 2012, including a 2015 Upper Midwest Emmy award for a March 2015 newscast when the alleged abductor at the center of an Amber Alert called the TV9 newsroom to try and explain his actions.
Seeing that news reporting in the current climate is true two-way communication, Chris strives to be highly engaged on social media, especially through his Facebook page (Facebook.com/ChrisEarlKCRG), where he shares stories of people with journeys that tug at the emotions. Meeting those touched by ALS, people dealing with tragedies but doing so with grace, a family caring for an ailing parent, children with special challenges just trying to push through to the levels most of us take for granted every day.
Chris has been working in journalism for 20 years, going back to his last year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. A double-major in political science and broadcast journalism, Chris started the journalism journey as a news and sports reporter at KSNT-TV in Topeka, Kansas before moving to WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1998 as a sports anchor/reporter.
Five years in Duluth, Minnesota followed as the lead sports anchor at KDLH-TV in Duluth before he returned to Eau Claire in 2005 with a switch to news as the evening news anchor at WEAU.
Away from writing newscasts and reports, Chris also has three, full-length novels to his credit. “Gotcha Down” (2004), “The Interim” (2007) and “The Last Out” (2009) all received critical praise as he worked up scenarios and plots from his years as a sportscaster, centering on aloof athletes and overconfident sports anchors where, ultimately, the good in people would, eventually, win out. “The Last Out” is about his hometown and much-beloved Kansas City Royals actually putting together a winning season – something that, upon its 2009 release, was highly unlikely.
Now Chris plans to live off the glory of the 2015 World Series until he’s done living.
Chris and his wife Erica live in Cedar Rapids with their two children. He does not have one of those cool window stickers of Iowa with ‘native’ written in lower case. Chris is on the lookout for a sticker that says ‘Iowan By Choice.'