Meet the WICS TV News Team
Adam Rife - Anchor
Adam Rife has been morning anchor and reporter at NewsChannel 20 since January of 2015, co-anchoring the morning shows from 5am-9am. Adam joined WICS in August 2014 as the Statehouse Reporter. He has covered political campaigns, legislative sessions, and policy stories that impact all Illinoisans. Adam also anchors extensively on many evening broadcasts.
Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Adam has a degree in history. Prior to coming to WICS, Adam spent a year and a half at sister-station WICD in Champaign, where he was a general assignment reporter and anchor. Before that he worked in Chicago in the sports departments at WGN, Fox affiliate WFLD, and at ABC 7 Chicago interviewing athletes and covering live professional sporting events.
Akilah Davis - Reporter
Akilah Davis joined ABC Newschannel 20 in December of 2014 as the Sunrise reporter. She comes to us from the Quad Cities, where she was a Multimedia Journalist. While she enjoyed covering local news in a bi-state region, shes thrilled to be back in central Illinois.
Akilah spent her undergraduate career at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she studied Communications. She's also a graduate of the University of Illinois-Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program. While in graduate school, she interned for Metro Source News, where she got her feet wet covering politics at the Illinois Capitol. Prior to that, she spent two years interning in her hometown at WGN-TV.
Akilah loves being active in the community and is excited to volunteer with the many organizations here. She's also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys exercising and cooking. If you have an interesting story to tell or just want to say hello, feel free to shoot her an email!
Brendan Cullerton - Reporter
Brendan joined WICS as a multimedia journalist in April 2015 as a multimedia journalist. He comes to us after graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in December of 2014.
During his time at Mizzou, Brendan reported and anchored sports for KOMU-TV, the local NBC affiliate partnered with the school. He also worked as a statehouse reporting fellow for KMOX, the CBS owned-and-operated radio affiliate in St. Louis. To further his political reporting experience, Brendan interned with ABC News in its Washington Bureau in spring of 2014.
Brendan was born in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Illinois and is happy to be back in his home state. He is an avid sports fan of the White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, and unfortunately, the Bears. He is no good at, but loves to play basketball when he isn’t working.
Brendan enjoys talking to people and learning about the community. If you see him out in the field, be ready for a conversation. He believes stories worth telling are all over the place, you just have to find them. If you want to talk about what is going on in the community, feel free to reach out to him on Twitter @Bcullerton.
Brett Baldeck - Reporter
Brett Baldeck joined ABC NewsChannel 20 as a multimedia journalist in October 2013. He comes to us after spending a year as a multimedia journalist at WBKO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Brett is originally from Rochester New, York. He graduated from Niagara University in Niagara Falls in May 2012. He is proud to now call Springfield home, and tell the stories of the people of central Illinois.
Brett has always had a passion for television news. As a child, it was his nightly ritual to watch the local news with his family. After a suggestion from his high school English teacher, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a news reporter.
When Brett is not at work, he enjoys working out and checking out the newest restaurants downtown. Brett is also an avid auto racing fan. He says anything with a motor and wheels, he will watch on television.
David Coy - Sports Anchor / Reporter
David joined WICS in February 2014 as Sports Anchor/Reporter. He thinks more local sports is BETTER! David has done both news and sports reporting. Most recently he was a nightside news reporter in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
David has been involved in broadcasting since he was in middle school--he used to anchor the morning announcements. He graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media Communication: Radio/TV. While there, he received an NATAS Emmy Nomination for "Best College Sports Program" for the ZTV Sports Report.
David is from Columbus, Ohio, but don't worry, he's not really a Buckeye fan. His favorite teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, Cleveland Indians, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. All in all he's a REAL die-hard Akron Zips fan. If he's not covering sports, he's usually watching them or playing video games.
If you have a cool sports story or know an athlete that should be highlighted, give David a ring!
Donnie Tillman - Sports Director / Anchor
Donnie Tillman comes to WICS with more than a decade of journalism experience under his belt.
The Chicago native grew up a huge sports fan. After graduating from Romeoville H.S. in 1999, he decided to study his love for sports at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Following his four years at SIU, Donnie put his radio-television degree to work. In August 2003, he went on to become a sports photographer at WHOI-TV in Peoria. In 2006, he was promoted to weekend sports anchor. In March 2009 he took over the weekend sports anchor duties at WMBD-TV in Peoria. Looking for a new challenge, in September 2010, Donnie moved to morning and midday news anchor. Now back in sports, "DT" brings his passion for local sports to the area. He's had the privilege of covering numerous high school, collegiate, and pro sports championships. Donnie's favorite sports teams are the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox. However, he calls the Cardinals and Blues his secondary squads.
Eric Feldman - Reporter
Eric Feldman joined WRPS/WICS in December 2014. He's extremely excited to return to the Midwest and make Springfield his home.
Born and raised in the concrete jungle of New York City, Eric's known he wanted to be a journalist since high school, and it's taken him near and far. He's reported in places such as New York, Fargo, Chicago and Johannesburg. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where he worked as an anchor, reporter and producer for the Emmy-winning student broadcast, the Northwestern News Report.
He loves following sports and is a proud New York Jets and Northwestern Wildcats fan. He enjoys following current events, reading and exercising.
He's passionate about story-telling and was taught by his high school journalism instructor that everybody has a story. Feel free to reach out to him about your stories or just to say hello!
Evan Peterson - Reporter
Evan Peterson joined WICS in September of 2014 as a General Assignment Reporter for ABC Newschannel 20.
At 16-years-old Evan knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life: become a journalist. After graduating from York Community High School in 2009, he went off to Ball State University to study news. Two years later, he transferred to Marquette University where he finished off his undergraduate studies with a double major in digital media and political science (emphasis on global politics).
Before he was in Springfield, Evan worked as a multimedia journalist, anchor, and chief political reporter for the college's television news station. He was also involved in two special news programs: one of them took him to Ground Zero in New York City where he revisited the conflict-reporting portfolio of famous photojournalist Allan Tannenbaum, and the other was an Emmy Award winning feature that explored the dangers of Reporting From The Frontline in combat zones through the career of the late James Foley. Also, he has interned for WISN-TV in Milwaukee, and WLS in Chicago.
Recently, he worked as a print journalist, alongside Seattle Times Reporter Hal Bernton, to produce an investigative piece looking at the polarizing nature of the climate change debate in Wisconsin as a part of the O'Brien Fellowship.
Outside of the newsroom Evan likes to read up on politics/global affairs, hike, play computer games, and exercise.
Jenn Sullivan - Anchor
Jenn Sullivan joined WICS in December 2014 as the Morning and Midday Anchor. Jenn comes to us from Green Bay, Wisconsin where she was the Political Reporter and Fill-in Anchor. Prior to that, she was an Anchor/Multimedia Journalist in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Her passion for politics took her all over the state, covering President Obama, many local and national politicians as well as sitting down one on one with Republican Gov. Scott Walker on multiple occasions.
While she comes to us from Packers territory, Jenn is an Illinois native and is very happy to be back in her home state. She grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois but before that, her family spent six years in Surrey, England.
Before moving to Wisconsin, she worked at WGN-TV as a News Writer. She received her Masters in Journalism from DePaul University, in Chicago, and spent a quarter in Vancouver covering the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. She received her Bachelors from Miami University, in Ohio.
When shes not at work, you can find her taking long walks with her dog, Shelby, who she rescued from a shelter in Chicago. Shes an avid sports fan and loves rooting for the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks. Jenn also loves to golf.
Whether you have a story idea or just want to chat, Jenn would love to hear from you.
Joe Crain - Morning and Midday Meteorologist
Joe helps you plan for the day at work and school with the Storm Team 20 forecast every weekday from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. during "Sunrise This Morning". Joe also keeps you updated on the latest weather with local updates during "Good Morning America" and has a complete look at your forecast during "ABC NewsChannel 20 Midday" at 11:00 a.m. weekdays.
At the young age of 12, Joe got an early start to his career with school and community announcements on his hometown radio station in Cairo, Illinois. Joe has held a variety of on-air, programming and management positions with radio stations in St. Louis, Duluth, Green Bay, Sioux City, Omaha, Peoria and Springfield. Joe joined the ABC NewsChannel 20 family in the summer of 2004 as a weekend weather anchor. He was named the morning and midday weather anchor in March 2008.
Joe is a graduate of Mississippi State University's Broadcast Meteorology Certification program and holds a B.A. in Radio-Television Sales and Management with a minor in Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Joe is a professional member of both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Additionally, Joe has been honored by his peers with numerous awards such as the "Silver Dome" from the Illinois Broadcasters Association and multiple nominations for the national "Gavin Award" that showcases excellence in radio programming.
Joe has been recognized for his community involvement with a number of organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Land of Lincoln Goodwill, Central Illinois Community Blood Center, Camp CoCo, Central Illinois Down Syndrome Society and Salvation Army. As a member of Storm Team 20, Joe enjoys speaking each year to dozens of school and civic groups about weather and severe weather safety.
Joe, along with his wife Ann and children, Megan and Thomas, reside in Springfield. He's a model railroader and train collector. Joe's an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, Fighting Illini and SIU Salukis. And, by his own account, Joe is a "below average" golfer.
Joe's always glad to hear from you and is eager to answer your weather related questions.
Jordan Abudayyeh - Reporter
Jordan Abudayyeh joined WICS in May 2014 as a reporter. Before moving to the capital city, Jordan was anchor, reporter and producer for Naperville News 17 on Naperville Community Television, where she covered everything from
President Obama visiting town to City Council. Prior to that, she was an Associate Producer at WISN in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also interned at CBS 2 in Chicago.
Jordan grew up in the Chicago suburbs watching the news. There's even a home video of her watching CNN from her playpen! In seventh grade she decided she was going to do what those people she watched on TV did. She graduated from
Marquette University with a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and Sociology. While at Marquette she was News Director for her college TV station, MUTV 99, and won a college Emmy for a special she hosted on reporting from war zones.
For her, TV news isn't a job. Its a lifestyle.
Jordan's a foodie, which makes staying on a diet a challenge. So when shes not sharing the news you'll probably find her checking out a local restaurant and pairing her meal with the perfect wine.
Jordan loves social media so if you have a story idea or something you would like to share connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Kristine Frazao - Reporter
Kristine Frazao is an Emmy award winning journalist, with more than a decade of on-air experience. As the National Correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Kristine
reports on the top political stories of the day along with investigative reports on government waste, fraud and abuse.
Prior to joining the Sinclair news team, Kristine was the White House Correspondent for RT America. She covered the 2010 and 2012 elections both on the road and in Washington, and anchored nightly newscasts on RT for three years as well. Also during her time at RT, she reported extensively on the impact of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Pennsylvania, as well as the tragic rate of teen suicide on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Kristine was born and raised in San Diego, CA, where she also worked for four years as a general assignment reporter, working for the Fox affiliate (XETV) as well as the NBC affiliate (KNSD) where she received an Emmy for coverage of the Wildfires of 2007.
She got her on-air start working in beautiful Savannah, GA at WJCL/WTGS, where she worked as the political reporter, covering City Council and County Commission. She also traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to cover the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
Kristine loves living in the Washington, DC. area and covering politics. She spends her free time traveling, reading and going on adventures with her black lab , Chomsky.
Connect with Kristine:
Lindsey Hess - Anchor / Reporter
Lindsey is a reporter for ABC NewsChannel 20, specializing in agriculture. She most previously worked as an Anchor/Reporter at the NBC affiliate station, WGEM, in Quincy, Illinois. While reporting, Lindsey worked as a one-man band, covering assignments as a photographer, reporter and editor in three states. She covered the agriculture beat, reporting on a wide range of farming stories, including the 2012 drought. Lindsey is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois where she earned a degree in Communication & Rhetorical Studies. During college, she was involved in IC TV and Sigma Phi Epsilon Literary Society, and was a member of both Lambda Pi Eta and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Societies.
Community involvement is a big part of Lindsey's life. She is the Executive Director of the Miss Quincy Scholarship Program, an official preliminary pageant to Miss Illinois and Miss America. Each year, the Miss Quincy Scholarship Program awards thousands of scholarship dollars to young women. For the past seven years, Lindsey has been a mentor to a young girl named Bailey in Jacksonville. She and Bailey were matched through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and have spent the last several years spending time together and growing their lifelong friendship. As Miss Adams County and Miss Quincy, Lindsey used her titles to bring awareness to bullying and cyber bullying. She continues to speak at schools, organizations and service clubs to educate others on the cause. In February 2012, Lindsey was able to bring light to the issue in her in-depth news report, "Mean Girls."
Maggie Poteau - Anchor
Maggie Poteau anchors the 5 p.m and 6 p.m. newscast for ABC NewsChannel 20 and the 9 p.m. newscast for FOX Illinois. She joined WICS in November 2013. As a newcomer to the Midwest, she is excited about becoming involved in the community, engaging viewers in central Illinois and exploring the Land of Lincoln.
Interestingly, Maggie began her television career as a general assignment reporter in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Before moving to Springfield, Illinois, she worked at ABC 3340 in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was an anchor for "Good Morning Alabama" and show host for "Talk of Alabama." Prior to her time in central Alabama, she worked in east Tennessee for WATE 6 News and FOX 43. Her passion for storytelling has allowed her to cover stories of people from all different walks of life, from people we like to people we do not like. Some of the prominent stories she has covered include the criminal trial of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy (the first executive tried under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act), the disappearance of Natalie Holloway, and the deadly tornados that ripped through Alabama in 2011. To date, career-wise, she is most proud of her invitation from The White House to serve as moderator for "The Urban Economic Forum," Birmingham 2012.
Born on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, she is proud of her Haitian and Cuban heritage. Maggie grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Mass Communications. She is also a proud alumna of the UCONN Women's Soccer program and still loves to play whenever possible. Maggie would tell you her proudest accomplishment is her adult"yes, adult--daughter Brittanny, who earned her bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and her masters degree from Arizona State University. Brittanny now works in higher education in the greater Boston area.
If you have a great story idea, feel free to connect with Maggie on Facebook or Twitter.
Michelle London - Reporter
Michelle London joined the WICS team in January of 2014 as a morning reporter for Good Day Illinois. Ironically, Michelle got her start on-camera in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts where she was a Correspondent for CBS 3.
Even though she only lived in Western Massachusetts for a year, Michelle became active in the community while there. She was the emcee for an annual awards gala sponsored by Awake Springfield, a well-known non-profit organization in the city. Michelle also participated in the YMCA Classic Weekend, where she was able to interact with and serve as a mentor for local youth.
Before making her transition to the front of the camera, Michelle lived in Bristol, Connecticut, where she was a content editor for ESPN. While there, she edited video for shows like Mike and Mike in the Morning, ESPN First Take and Sports Center. She also did some reporting for ESPN's in-house network, “In The Know,” where she was able to interview various guests that appeared on Sports Center and other shows that day.
Michelle has also worked as an intern at BET in Washington, DC. There, she would go into the city with a photographer and ask residents their opinions on current events. The short interviews she gathered and edited would air on, Mic Check.
She recalls it was during this experience that she realized her ability to connect with people from various walks of life. This heightened her passion to want to serve the community from the front of the camera. Michelle was born and raised in Roanoke, VA.
She graduated from Old Dominion University and earned her Bachelor's degree in Communications. While a student at ODU, Michelle was a radio personality for the campus radio station, WODU.
Feel free to contact Michelle for story ideas and general feedback through Facebook and Twitter @MichelleDLondon
Sheila Gray - Special Correspondent
Special Correspondent Sheila Gray reports on issues affecting women and families in Sinclair Broadcast Groups Family 411 reports.
Sheila is a native of Columbus, Ohio and studied at the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
She began her career in Charleston, West Virginia, eventually being named the 6 & 11 p.m. anchor at WSAZ-TV. She was recognized by the West Virginia Associated Press for her reporting.
Sheilas next stop was Cincinnati, Ohio, where she co-hosted the Fox 19 Morning News.
She is happy that her alarm is no longer sounding at 2:30 a.m. and is looking forward to this new chapter in her career, and a new broadcasting family with Sinclair.
Sheila and her husband Ric are the parents of four children, Kasey, Kari, Katie, and Kari.
Connect with Sheila:
Stacey Skrysak - Anchor
Stacey Skrysak is a familiar face to viewers in Central Illinois. After more than three years working in television in the Springfield area, Stacey was thrilled to join the News Channel 20 team.
Stacey is a seasoned journalist, bringing years of experience from all over the country. While she grew up in San Diego, Stacey is a Midwesterner at heart! Her career has taken her to stations in Nebraska, Michigan and Idaho, before settling in Springfield in 2012. Stacey is a graduate of the University of Oregon and can often be found sporting her green and yellow. She’s a diehard college football fan, spending every weekend in the fall cheering on the Ducks!
Stacey may be well known as a journalist, but her proudest role is mother. She is mom to her surviving triplet and two angels. Her daughter, Peyton, is the youngest baby to survive at St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield. In 2013, Stacey shared her triplet pregnancy through social media and television. Her story of infertility, child loss, and miracles has touched the lives of thousands people around the world. Nearly two years after her triplets were born, Stacey continues to help others and share the trials and tribulations of parenting through her popular blog, “Perfectly Peyton”. www.perfectlypeyton.com
Stacey loves to immerse herself into the community. She’s active with the Make-A-Wish organization, serving as a wish granter in several communities. She is also extremely active with Children’s Miracle Network, especially since her daughter Peyton is a “CMN Miracle Child”. On the weekends, you can find Stacey and her family exploring all that Central Illinois has to offer. Whether it’s a stroll at Washington Park, or a weekly visit to their favorite local diner, Stacey and her husband, Ryan, love living in Springfield.
Have story ideas or comments? Stacey would love to hear from you!
Thomas Patrick - Meteorologist
Thomas Patrick is the newest member of Central Illinois Storm Team and is the dedicated weekend meteorologist, but you can find him filling in for both Ric and Joe during the week.
Thomas just spent his past two years forecasting for Rapid City, South Dakota. While there he forecasted and reported on significant weather events from tornadoes to blizzards. Major weather events Thomas has included breaking in for tornado coverage, one of which ended up being rated an EF2 with winds up to 120 mph! Hailstorms dropped grapefruit sized hail during each summer. Flash Flooding drenched Rapid City with 5 of rain on a single day, and numerous snow storms and blizzards, one of which in October 13 dumped 2 feet of snow in Rapid City, and up to 5 feet of snow in the Black Hills!
Thomas graduated from Valparaiso University in 2012 with a major in Meteorology. While there he was a student of now Good Morning America Meteorologist Ginger Zee. In addition to learning under Zee, Thomas was involved with the universitys storm chasing program, although he has never seen a tornado yet Thomas was also a walk on member of the universitys swim team.
Thomas hails from Hartland, Wisconsin (about 25 miles west of Milwaukee) and he is all about the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Wisconsin Badgers!
Thomas has known he was going to be a meteorologist since he was 5-years old and is now living the dream!