Tony Kovaleski returning to Denver7 to resume his nationally recognized investigative reporting

DENVER - Investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski, whose work changed emergency procedures at Denver International Airport and uncovered failures in the Federal Air Marshal system, is returning to Denver7.

Kovaleski is returning to Colorado after about three years working in San Francisco, where he exposed significant security failures at critical electric substations in California. He also uncovered a major rodent infestation inside a California food distributor that forced a national food recall.

While working in Denver in 2009, Kovaleski's investigative documentary "33 Minutes to 34 Right" changed the way emergency ambulances respond to crisis situations at DIA including having a full-time ambulance stationed at the airport, something that had not existed since DIA opened.  That documentary was honored with four national awards for journalism including the Sigma Delta Chi, Edward R. Murrow, National Headliner Award, and the duPont-Columbia Award --  the highest award in television journalism.

He was Colorado’s “Best Specialty Reporter” in 2004 and 2006 and “Reporter of the Year” for the Texas Associated Press in 1997. At KMGH, Kovaleski will once again team up with investigators John Ferrugia and Theresa Marchetta to give Denver7 one of the strongest investigative teams in the country.

“The Denver community remembers, with great appreciation, Tony’s prior work as a determined investigator whose stories uncovered wrongs in business and government,” said Brad Remington, vice president and general manager of Denver7. “His work in San Francisco in the past several years only expanded his reputation as a dogged journalist who turns local stories into content worthy of the nation’s attention.”

In addition to bringing Kovaleski back to Denver to resume his groundbreaking investigations, this new role will also empower him to train investigative reporters and participate in national investigations for the entire network of 33 Scripps television stations.

“I am honored to rejoin the talented team of journalists at Denver7,” said Kovaleski. “It is very clear that Denver7 is committed to hard-hitting investigative journalism. Investigative reporting is my passion and now I get to do it in the place I consider my home. I also look forward to my new responsibility as a trainer. It gives me the opportunity to work with some of the country’s top investigative journalists to grow an already impressive Scripps legacy of investigative reporting.”

In addition to Kovaleski's history of protecting Coloradans, he also uncovered groundbreaking national stories during his first stint in Denver. For example, when a man from Aurora, Colo. planned to bomb subway trains in New York City, Kovaleski followed the case from the very beginning and he broke significant new details almost daily.

In 2006, Kovaleski’s investigation into the Federal Air Marshal Service exposed a series of major nationwide system failures. An unprecedented 17 current and former Air Marshals in four states spoke to Kovaleski, exposing a series of critical public safety failures inside the Federal Air Marshal Service. These security breakdowns exposed a significant waste in federal tax dollars, placing the flying public in danger on a daily basis.

“This is a significant hire for Scripps,” said Sean McLaughlin, vice president of news for the Scripps TV division. “Scripps recognizes Kovaleski’s unparalleled skills at investigations and sees the value he brings to both Denver and to fellow Scripps investigative journalists. He will conduct investigative training workshops across the company helping other markets to produce the same high level of award-winning investigations.”

Kovaleski's first day back at Denver7 will be Nov. 30. His colleagues -- and his daughter, Jennifer, who is now a Denver7 reporter -- look forward to welcoming him back.

Scripps' Announcement: 

Kovaleski named investigative reporter at KMGH in Denver and investigative trainer for Scripps

Nov. 11, 2015

CINCINNATI – Tony Kovaleski, renowned investigative journalist and winner of 28 Emmy Awards, is returning to KMGH, the Denver affiliate of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) for a new dual role that serves both the local Denver market and Scripps’ television division. He will be an investigative reporter at KMGH and a corporate investigative trainer to develop other Scripps investigative journalists across the country, effective Nov. 30. 

“The Denver community remembers, with great appreciation, Tony’s prior work as a determined investigator whose stories uncovered wrongs in business and government,” said Brad Remington, vice president and general manager at KMGH. “His work in San Francisco in the past several years only expanded his reputation as a dogged journalist who turns local stories into content worthy of the nation’s attention.”

“This is a significant hire for Scripps,” said Sean McLaughlin, vice president of news for the Scripps TV division. “Scripps recognizes Kovaleski’s unparalleled skills at investigations and sees the value he brings to both Denver and to fellow Scripps investigative journalists. He will conduct investigative training workshops across the company helping other markets to produce the same high level of award-winning investigations.”

Kovaleski left KMGH in 2012 for the NBC owned-and-operated station in San Francisco. As NBC Bay Area’s chief investigative reporter, Kovaleski exposed significant security failures at critical electric substations in California. He also uncovered a major rodent infestation inside a California food distributor that forced a national food recall.

His work over his career garnered numerous journalism awards including the duPont-Columbia, Edward R. Murrow, Sigma Delta Chi and National Headliner Award. He was Colorado’s “Best Specialty Reporter” in 2004 and 2006 and “Reporter of the Year” for the Texas Associated Press in 1997. At KMGH, Kovaleski will team up with investigator John Ferrugia to give Denver7 one of the strongest investigative teams in the country.

“I am honored to rejoin the talented team of journalists at Denver7,” said Kovaleski. “It is very clear that Denver7 is committed to hard-hitting investigative journalism. Investigative reporting is my passion and now I get to do it in the place I consider my home. I also look forward to my new responsibility as a trainer. It gives me the opportunity to work with some of the country’s top investigative journalists to grow an already impressive Scripps legacy of investigative reporting.”
 
Kovaleski graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He served as a faculty member of the National Center for Courts and Media with the University of Nevada’s Reynolds School of Journalism. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the professional organization for investigative journalists. During his career, he worked for KNXV-TV and KTVK-TV in Phoenix, KPRC-TV in Houston, KTVN-TV in Reno, Nevada and KIEM-TV in Eureka, California.

About Scripps 

The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including podcast industry leader Midroll Media, over-the-top video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Media contact:

Valerie Miller, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3023, Valerie.miller@scripps.com
 

Print this article Back to Top