Milwaukee Talks: Channel 12 sports reporter Stephanie Sutton, 2009
OMC: As a mom, your schedule has changed a little bit, and you told me that lets you spend more time with your kids. But you still find the time to do some new projects, like radio gigs with Bob and Brian and (OnMilwaukee.com Senior Editor) Drew Olson and Dan Needles' "D-List" show. How's that going?
SS: I absolutely love it. There's something liberating about being on the radio. You can say almost whatever is on the top of your head. On television, you don't want to be so biased.
OMC: Is it nice to be able to get your personality out there?
OMC: But does it conflict with your job as a reporter?
SS: Maybe a little bit, I could probably see that. But when you're doing the sports, you try to put some of your personality into the highlights, but there's only so much you can do in three minutes. In radio, it's for three or four hours.
OMC: Is it hard to make good connections and contacts with athletes when you don't cover a specific beat?
SS: I actually think I have a really good connection with the athletes around town and up in Green Bay. I know a lot of them know who I am because of my face, and that's one of the benefits of being a female. They don't necessarily know me by name. Yesterday, I saw Donald Driver and he was like, "Hey, sweetie!" and gave me a hug. "How are you doing? How are the kids?" That's the unique thing about having children; I've actually been able to bond with these players more. That's the one thing we can totally relate on.
OMC: Do they treat you differently because you're a woman? I don't think Donald Driver is hugging Dan Needles.
SS: Yeah, definitely. I think there's something about me being non-threatening. I didn't date athletes. That never happened, and it never will. I'm in there to do this story because I enjoy my work and I want to cover sports.
OMC: So there are advantages to being a woman covering sports?
SS: I think so. Without a doubt. In the case of Jessie (Garcia), Jen (Lada) and me, they recognize us. We stand out right away in this sea of 20 men.
OMC: A lot of TV reporters treat Milwaukee as a stepping stone. I guess that's not the case with you, right?
SS: I'm the opposite. This is where I want to be. I'm more than thrilled to be home.
OMC: Were you a fan of Milwaukee teams growing up?
SS: Yeah, I remember the '82 World Series. I think I was in fourth grade, but I had the Paul Molitor lunch box. In high school, I fell in love with the Packers. I played sports, too. My claim to fame is that my sister and I won the state doubles championship in tennis in 1987. If you ask me if I still play, no.
In college, I fell in love with the Badgers. To this day, the Rose Bowl in 1994 is the best sporting event I've ever been to, because ... I went as a fan.
OMC: Are you still a fan?
SS: The Packers-Vikings game, I had mixed emotions. I was cheering for the Packers, but then there was the Favre angle. I think before I got into this business, I would be affected the next day after a win or a loss. Now, I'm like, "They lost, let's move on."
OMC: Is it OK for a sports reporter to be a fan?
SS: I think so, or else how can you enjoy what you're doing?
OMC: What's the most interesting interview you've done?
SS: Honestly, one of my favorite ones was John McEnroe. He was fantastic. So fun and energetic. He was my sports idol growing up.
OMC: As someone who is so passionate about this area that you shifted your career to move back, where do you like to go? What do you like to do?
SS: We're right here (at Wasabi). With kids, we don't get to go out as much as we used to, but we hang out on the west side of town. Back in the day, Vitucci's and Water Street. Now, this place and Piano Blu, but a lot of friends have little kids so we'll do barbecues and hang out.
OMC: Do your kids watch you on TV?
SS: Kate knows what's going on. The 1-year-old runs up to the TV and kisses it -- or so I'm told.
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Great story. We need to see MORE of Stephanie. Nice to see someone make it big, but find their roots back at home. We're lucky to have her in our market of terrible sportscasters. "The Boys Club"(and I do call them boys) might know a lot of Wisconsin Sports History, but that's in the past - who cares. Find us something fresh and fun. Why do I care what offense or defence the Packers are playing in? JUST WIN BABY!
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