Jamie couldn’t be more thrilled to call Colorado her home. She often describes it to people as the best of her favorite places; Minneapolis, MN, where she was born and raised, and Bozeman, MT, where she spent the last 13 years working and playing.
While Jamie at one point considered becoming a CU Buff, it was the Montana Grizzlies in Missoula that won her heart. It was the beautiful rivers and the tight-knit ski community that really sealed the deal for her.
While in school, Jamie took her first job TV job with KPAX in Missoula, cuing tapes for the morning show. It was a tough gig for any college freshman and she eventually found a way to incorporate her love for the outdoors into her professional life. In 2005, Jamie took a job with the Sportsman’s channel and in between school and ski laps, she could be found working in the field or editing shows for organizations like Trout Unlimited, L.L. Bean, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Gore-Tex and Ducks Unlimited. This career move not only turned her into a professional editor but a pretty savvy fisherwoman. … She still doesn’t like to hunt but will take on anyone in a skeet shooting challenge.
Soon after graduation, Jamie decided to take a break. She moved to Big Sky and worked for the local resort. While she skied her heart out, she dearly missed the professional world of story-telling. She met so many people with amazing stories and wanted to share those stories with the masses. In 2011, Jamie moved to Chicago where she attended DePaul University and received her M.A. in Journalism. She only applied to one place after graduation … Montana.
In December of 2012, Jamie was hired as the Bureau Chief for KXLF-TV in Butte, Montana. She spent 10 months in the Mining City before she moved to Bozeman where she became an anchor and reporter for KBZK-TV. Jamie covered everything from superfund sites to wildfires and crime. She has had many memorable stories but will never forget one of her first, the parole hearing for Don Nichols. In 1984 the notorious “mountain man” abducted Olympian, Keri Swenson, while she was on a training run in the woods of Big Sky, MT. She was chained to a tree and held captive for over 18 hours. Nichols was denied parole in 2012 after he called the parole board fascist and stormed out of the room.
Jamie spent almost half her life in Big Sky country but as a Minneapolis native, she had her sights set on a particular city skyline in a larger market. Denver offered the perfect combination of the two cities she loved and, after some persistence, she was hired by her No. 1 choice, CBS4 in Denver.
Jamie has already had the chance to explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains and hopes to sew some roots and one day start a family in the Mile High city!
Just The Facts
• Position: Reporter
• Year hired: 2015
• Alma Mater: University of Montana
• Most memorable interview: Kirstofor Hans killed his teacher in 1984 and talked about it for the first time with me. He hoped his story would prevent incidents in the future.
• Role model: I have always looked up to my parents but I am fascinated with Neli Bly, aka Elizabeth Cochran. She was a famous journalist in the late 1800s and in 1888 did an expose on an aslyum that was abusing its patients. She went undercover by feigning her own insanity. Because of her story, a grand jury launched a full scale investigation into the practices of the asylum.
• Dream job: I honestly have it … I’ve been talking about becoming a reporter in Denver since I was a teenager! That and being and astronaut.
• Job you would never attempt: A chef. My favorite meal is mac and cheese or pizza … I can make both of these but not much more.
• Star sign: Aries
• Why I am journalist: I love people. There are so many incredible people with incredible stories — I am just a means of getting their voice heard. I also like to help people, and the media carries a huge responsibility in this regard. We let people know what route to take to work in the morning, we let them know why this year might be a good one to invest in a home or not … we also hold people in positions of power accountable for their actions.
• Hidden talent: I am a brown belt in Karate and I can ride horses and shoot guns at the same time (blanks only don’t worry!)
• Hometown: Edina, MN
• Favorite food: Bacon
• Favorite musician: Mick Jagger
• Number of siblings: 2, twin sisters
• Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere my family is. I love MN summers and grilling on the deck. Anytime I have vacation, you will likely find me in MN at my parents’ house.
• What one word best describes CBS4: Honest
• Favorite noise: Thunder
• Least favorite noise: Someone chewing food
• What keeps you in Colorado? The mountains
• Favorite Quote: “Well behaved women seldom make history” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Send an email to Jamie Leary.