Mike Jacobs

By Jenn Rourke

Mike JacobsMike Jacobs is the longest serving TV news anchor in Milwaukee. He started as a weekend anchor and reporter at TODAY'S TMJ4 in August of 1977 and moved to the anchor desk full time in 1978. He keeps a non-stop pace as co-anchor of Live at 5:00, Live at 6:00 and Live at 10:00: "I love being on the anchor desk, particularly during live breaking news coverage, where nothing is scripted and you just have to wing it. But I also love reporting. That's where the real fun is. I get to meet the most interesting people." From compelling reports on American soldiers who've been critically wounded in Iraq to captivating jail house interviews with convicted cop killers, Mike is always finding "real people" stories -- be it heroes or villains. 

Mike has won a series of prestigious journalism awards. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, Mike was named "Television Journalist of the Year" by the Milwaukee Press Club. He has also won a Peabody Award -- the broadcast equivalent of a Pulitzer -- for "Who's Behind the Wheel," his investigative series on checkered driving records of school bus drivers.  The Chicago/Midwest Regional Chapter of the Emmy Awards honored Mike with its Silver Circle Award in 2008, the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award.  In addition, Mike has won two Emmy Awards and numerous state and regional journalism awards.

Even after over thirty memorable years in the business, Mike shows no signs of boredom. "I think I have one of the best jobs in Milwaukee," he said. "It's interesting, exciting and educational. I get to be where all the action is and keep up on important news. But the best part is going home from work every night having learned something new since the start of the day."

Mike likes to tell people he's been delivering the news since he was 12 years old, which technically is true. He started delivering newspapers (The Des Moines Register) when he was in the 6th grade. He vividly remembers reading the paper in his dad's chair after his route every morning, sparking an early interest in news. 

He was also fascinated by radio.  Mike's memories of working at a tiny radio station in Iowa Falls, IA are a big part of his idyllic childhood. He grew up in Hubbard, Iowa , a tiny farming community where his father was a local minister. He was popular in high school, a star running back on the football team.

Mike started college on a football scholarship at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, then transferred to Drake University in Des Moines, where he majored in radio and television. While a senior at Drake, Mike got a job as a cameraman with WHO-TV, the dominant station in Des Moines at the time.

In 1973 following graduation, the company offered him a part-time job, which eventually led to his first full-time TV reporting gig. A couple of years later, Mike moved to Rockford, Illinois to take an anchoring job at WREX-TV, a job he held until joining TODAY'S TMJ4. "I joined the station on Aug. 16, 1977," said Mike. "I'll never forget it. It was the day Elvis died."

Mike's other interests include his family and soccer.  He and his wife, Linda, have two grown children, daughter Kelly, and son, Matt.

If you’d like to write to Mike, email him at