News Director | Executive Producer | Anchors | Reporters | Weather

  News Director

John Quarderer
News Director

John became the News Director at Newswatch12 at the beginning of 2012. He’s returning to Rhinelander to live and work after being away from the Northwoods for more than 40 years.

He graduated from Rhinelander High School, received two journalism degrees from Northwestern University, and worked as a television journalist at WBAY-TV in Green Bay, KSBW-TV in Salinas, CA, KGO-TV in San Francisco, and KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. He served as a faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he taught broadcast journalism.

For the past 20 years, he consulted local TV stations all over the country as a Vice President at Frank N. Magid Associates. His duties focused on using audience research to help local news operations better serve viewers.

John and his wife Karen both grew up in Rhinelander, and are very happy to be back in northern Wisconsin. They love the seasonal changes, the pace of life, the outdoors, the Packers and Badgers, and the sense of fun that they find here. Gardening, grilling, puttering around, snowshoeing, managing trees, looking at wildlife, just enjoying the closeness of the outdoors are things that fill the time with pleasure.

“The opportunity to lead and manage this team in this place is wonderful,” says John. “We’ll do all we can to keep the focus on local people and communities, and to be a unique source for sharing useful news and information for everyone who lives here.”

  Executive Producer

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

A native of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, Ben joined the Newswatch 12 team in February 2012.

Ben started his broadcasting career in radio, working in the sports department of WIBA radio in Madison, Wisconsin. He had a chance to cover the Badgers, Packers, and high school sports.

Ben is and has always been a Badger, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with a degree in Political Science. During college, Ben worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly, serving in multiple legislative offices. After graduation, he interned with CBS News in Washington, DC.

Covering news and events relevant to the people of the Northwoods in an interesting and entertaining manner is Ben’s continuing goal. He delights in the opportunities to meet and interact with community members both inside and outside of work, so don’t hesitate to say hi!

You can also catch Ben calling play-by-play and writing stories for Rhinelander High School sports on HodagSports.com.

In his spare time, Ben is an avid sports fan and athlete, following the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers, as well as professional golf and tennis. He likes to play basketball, golf, baseball, and tennis and train for triathlons. Ben also officiates college and high school basketball and baseball. He enjoys historical reading (especially surrounding the American Revolution), watching sitcoms of questionable quality, and traveling.


Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

Adam Fox joined WJFW in June 2013 as a reporter.

Adam comes to the Northwoods from Indiana, where he was born and raised. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ball State University, where he studied journalism, telecommunications and marketing. Adam interned at WISH-TV in Indianapolis for two summers and shot Friday football games during the high school season.

Adam is an extreme political junky. He also loves covering news events from the local to the national level. He enjoys reading political and history books, while also trying to be a successful outdoorsman.

In his spare time, he loves watching movies, eating food and meeting new people. He likes to play basketball, golf, and baseball, as well as watch his hometown professional sports teams. His heroes are Abraham Lincoln, Colin Powell and Peyton Manning.

Adam is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have any story ideas, good history books to recommend or just want to say “howdy,” email him at afox@wjfw.com. And if you see him inside or outside of work, don’t hesitate to say hello!

Lauren Stephenson
5 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

Lauren joined Newswatch 12 in June 2013 as a reporter. She grew up in Glencoe, Illinois. Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in May 2013. She majored in American Studies and minored in Literary and Cultural Studies. During her four years as an undergraduate, Lauren created, produced and hosted TribeUpdate, a newsmagazine show, and The Flat Hat Insider, a joint production between The Flat Hat Newspaper and William and Mary Television. Lauren also produced and hosted segments for ESPNU’s Campus Connection about William and Mary’s mascot search.

During the spring and summer of 2011, Lauren interned at the NBC News Washington bureau for Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell. She contributed to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, NBC’s Nightly News, Today Show, the Dateline special “Taking the Hill: Inside Congress,” and wrote frequently for MSNBC.com’s First Read political blog. In August 2011, Lauren traveled to Iowa in her role as youth political correspondent for Comcast Newsmakers. There she interviewed presidential candidates and other notable politicians.

Lauren is no stranger to WJFW. She twice interned for Newswatch 12, and is thrilled to be back. Her family has strong roots in the Northwoods. Lauren’s great-grandparents met in Conover, and her family has had a home in the Northwoods for over 95 years.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys watching hockey (she’s a loyal Chicago Blackhawks fan), keeping up with the latest political news, scouring interior design blogs, spending time with her family and friends, and reading biographies. She also enjoys the occasional reality TV show.

After spending four years in Virginia, Lauren looks forward to experiencing a real winter. She hopes to snowmobile for the first time this winter.

Lauren would love to hear from you! Whether it’s a simple “hello” or a story idea, shoot her an email at lstephenson@wjfw.com.

Kalia Baker
Morning Anchor/Reporter

Kalia joined the Newswatch 12 team in September 2013 as a reporter.

Originally from the east coast, Kalia is excited to experience her first Midwest winter in the Northwoods.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kalia graduated from Spelman College, the #1 Historically Black College in the nation. Graduating with international honors from Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society, Kalia earned a Bachelors’ Degree in English with a concentration in Journalism.

Before joining the Newswatch 12 team, Kalia was invited to participate in the Hyperlocal Newsroom Academy at New York University. There, she produced a live broadcast and anchored a segment on fitness and health—two things she is passionate about. Kalia blogged for the Huffington Post for more than 2 years.
After spending the summer in New York City, Kalia was offered an internship with Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta. After working with WSB-TV, Kalia went on to work at the CNN Headquarters.

When she’s not looking for the next story, Kalia enjoys working out, baking, spending time with her family and friends, listening to new music, watching TV, and blogging.

Kalia loves to talk! Don’t hesitate to email her with story ideas, or just to say “hello” at: kbaker@wjfw.com

Karolina Buczek

Karolina comes to the Northwoods from New York City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Syracuse University in 2013. She majored in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. As an undergrad, she anchored, produced and reported for her school’s news station. Before joining Newswatch 12, Karolina interned for CNY Central in Syracuse. She also interned at the London Summer Olympics, where she watched Team USA win the gold in Women’s Gymnastics.

Karolina is an extreme foodie. She loves trying different types of cuisines, eating at new restaurants, and watching the Food Network. She is fluent in Polish and hopes to learn another language in the future. Karolina is also a die-hard Syracuse basketball fan and can’t wait to see Coach Boeheim win another National Championship. She has a good feeling that this will be the year for the Orange. Go ‘Cuse!

Karolina is excited to experience all the Northwoods has to offer. She’s no stranger to the snow and loves to ski and snowboard.

Karolina is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have any story ideas or just want to say hello, send her an email at kbuczek@wjfw.com .

Nolan Blair

Nolan joined the Newswatch 12 team in August of 2014 to cover sports and news. Nolan comes to the Northwoods from Indiana. He moved to Indiana in 2001 from Plano, Texas and stayed there until he graduated from college. He’s a 2014 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington where he studied Broadcast Journalism.

During his time at IU, he became Co-Sports Director of Indiana’s Student Television. He interned at Indiana’s Rivals.com site and Indiana’s Scout/Fox Sports site. He interned at two television stations, one in Indianapolis and one in Chicago.

Nolan is a huge auto racing fan and had the chance to cover the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 during the Indianapolis internship.
Nolan is very happy to still be in Big Ten country and is excited to live in Wisconsin. He’s a Hoosiers fan, obviously, but understands that Bo Ryan knows how to beat Tom Crean. Nolan is ready to get acquainted with the Wisconsin racing scene, which he can already tell is impressive.

Nolan hopes to get the full experience of the Northwoods and to cover the outdoors. He appreciates all that the outdoors has to offer and the people who make it their passion.

Contact Nolan with cool story ideas relating to sports--and he means anything that relates to sports--at nblair@wjfw.com.

Dan Marz

Dan joined Newswatch 12 in June of 2014 to cover sports and news. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but moved shortly after to Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Dan graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in broadcast journalism. During his time there, he worked closely with the campus television station, UWW-TV. He started out behind the camera for many of the campus shows. By his junior year, he produced and directed the school’s live newscasts. Senior year, Dan produced and co-hosted the school’s sports talk show every week.

Before joining WJFW, Dan worked as a news producer for almost a year in Green Bay.

Dan is a sports nut. He lives and breathes everything sports and recreation. He grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, and running cross-country and track.

If you have any sports-related story ideas, please don’t hesitate to email Dan at dmarz@wjfw.com

Mary O'Connell

Mary joined the Newswatch 12 team in February 2015. She's a Wisconsin native, coming from Trevor, WI, just outside of Kenosha, and she is excited to make the Northwoods her new home.

Mary graduated from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in December 2014, majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Policy Studies. While studying at Syracuse, she worked as a reporter, anchor, and producer for the school's news station. Before joining the team, Mary interned at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as spending two summers interning with CBS News in their Investigative Unit in New York City and Today's TMJ4 in Milwaukee.

When she's not busy at work, Mary enjoys traveling as much as possible. While studying abroad in France, she traveled through Europe and even visited Africa. Mary is an advocate for the fine arts, having performed throughout high school and college, and loves to sing in her free time.

Mary is looking forward to learning all about the Northwoods, and would love to hear from you! Feel free to send her an email at moconnell@wjfw.com.


Kaitlyn Howe

Kaitlyn joined Newswatch 12 last June to produce the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. In January she was hired full-time to report and produce.

Kaitlyn comes from McHenry, Illinois. She graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in May 2013. She was involved in the campus station, UWW-TV, for 7 out of the 8 semesters she spent in Whitewater. She anchored and produced UWWTV News and the morning show Wake Up Whitewater.

Kaitlyn enjoys the Northwoods because she loves the outdoors. She looks forward to swimming and hiking this summer.

She is always happy to hear from viewers. If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, email her at khowe@wjfw.com.

Jeanine Ilacqua

Jeanine joined the Newswatch 12 team in August 2014 as a reporter.

She comes to the Northwoods all the way from Easton, Massachusetts, a suburb south of Boston. Jeanine graduated cum laude from the Boston University College of Communication, where she studied broadcast journalism and political science. While at BU, Jeanine reported, anchored, and produced for the campus station, BUTV10.

Before joining Newswatch 12, Jeanine interned for the Rhode Show at WPRI in Providence. She also interned in the newsroom at NECN and the FOX 25 sports department, both in Boston. While studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, Jeanine interned as a segment producer for the Today Show on Australia’s Nine Network.

Jeanine is a girl who holds many wild dreams. While in Sydney, Jeanine fulfilled her dream of holding a koala. She hopes to one day ride an elephant.

Jeanine is a theater geek at heart. She is always singing, dancing, and smiling. She has done numerous musicals and plays. She had her first trip to the Midwest when she traveled to Ohio for show choir camp in high school. Jeanine also sang in her college all-female a cappella group, Terpsichore. She loves to cook, relax on the beach, and watch her hometown sports teams. Jeanine’s love will always be The New England Patriots, but she is willing to take on the Packers’ as a second team.

Jeanine is excited to join the Newswatch 12 team and learn everything about the Northwoods. Jeanine loves meeting new people and would love to hear from you. Email her with your story ideas or just to say hello at jilacqua@wjfw.com.

Wren Clair

Wren joined the Newswatch 12 team in August 2014 to produce the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. In January 2015 she was hired full-time to report. She is finishing a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and she looks forward to weather forecasting someday soon.

Wren grew up in a suburb west of Minneapolis. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she double majored in Chemistry and Cultural Anthropology. She worked in a variety of chemistry labs doing medical research. As a reporter, she is interested in weather, outdoors, medicine and general science.

Wren has always loved the outdoors and athletics. She is excited to live in the Northwoods, where she can take advantage of the many running, cross country skiing, and snowshoe trails. Wren has always been enthusiastic about the arts as well. When she can find time, she likes to paint, draw and do pottery.

Wren is always excited to meet new people, and she is happy to hear from viewers. If you would like to say hello or pitch a story idea, you can email Wren at wrenclair@wjfw.com


Matt Benz
Chief Meteorologist

Matt joined WJFW back in February of 2008 as the Weekend Meteorologist. He was promoted to Morning Meteorologist in May of 2008 and has been Chief Meteorologist since September of 2010.

Matt graduated in May of 2007 from the University of North Dakota with B.S. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences and Environmental Geography. During his years in North Dakota, Matt was involved with several campus weather and news shows, including Prairie Weather Update, River Watch, UND Weather Update and Studio One, in which he worked as a forecaster, producer, anchor and feature reporter.

Matt grew up in Eden Prairie, a suburb of the Twin Cities, but he's a cheesehead at heart and has the Packer jerseys to prove it! He's considered the Northwoods his second home since childhood; his family’s roots are from all across the Northwoods and Central Wisconsin. In fact, his grandparents are Weather Watchers for the evening shows on Newswatch 12!

Believe it or not, Matt looks on his move to the Northwoods as if it were a move to the tropics, since the winters in North Dakota can be extremely cold and long, but they're always exciting!

While living in Grand Forks, Matt honed his forecasting skills by studying a wide range of weather conditions, including frequent blizzards, record-setting cold of -43°F (-70° with the wind chill) and snirt (combination of snow & dirt)!

Matt enjoys fishing and hunting during the summer and fall and skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing when the snow rolls in. He looks forward to living in the Northwoods and exploring what Northern Wisconsin has to offer!

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter

Melissa Constanzer joined the WJFW team as the weekend meteorologist in October of 2012. This is Melissa’s first time in the Great Lakes region.

Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Melissa always was fascinated by the weather that surrounded her. As she got older, she noticed how weather impacts everyone’s life each day and decided to attend The Pennsylvania State University and major in Meteorology.

During her time at Penn State, Melissa absorbed as much as she could about the weather. She took extra classes, such as advanced weather forecasting and a graduate level tropical meteorology class, augmenting her meteorology degree.

In addition to her course work, Melissa was also involved in several clubs while at Penn State. She did frequent video productions for the Campus Weather Service and was also invited to be a student on-camera forecaster for Weather World, which airs each weeknight across Pennsylvania. Melissa was the Community Outreach Chair for Penn State’s AMS chapter. She loved being able to organize community events, such as elementary school visits, during which she got to teach kids about the weather.

Melissa also spent a summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she interned under the chief meteorologist at WMGM NBC-40. The following summer, she worked as the weekend evening meteorologist at WBRE, NBC’s Wilkes-Barre affiliate.

When she is not studying the weather, Melissa enjoys spending time outside. Her favorite pastimes include running, downhill skiing, and swimming, in addition to spending time with family and friends.

Matt Brooks
Weekend Meteorologist / Reporter

Matt Brooks joined WJFW in January 2014 as the Weekend Meteorologist and couldn't be happier to start his career in the Northwoods.

Matt is no stranger to the snow, having been born and raised in Northern Lower Michigan in the city of Cheboygan. His interest in weather began by forecasting snowfall amounts as a 6th grader after several intense winter storms. Although winter weather piqued his interest, his growing fascination for all weather continued through his high school years

In 2009, Matt started studying Meteorology at Central Michigan University where he was a member of the Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society. During the summer of 2012, Matt completed an internship at WPBN TV 7&4 in Traverse City under the supervision of the morning meteorologist.

When Matt returned to Central Michigan University the following fall, he was selected to be a weather anchor on the community news program News Central 34, which aired live in three counties. In May of 2013, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in meteorology and a minor in mathematics.

Matt enjoys watching films, reading, and spending time practicing guitar. If you happen to see Matt out and about, don't hesitate to say hello and ask about the weather!


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