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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Chris Wragge, Co-Anchor of CBS 2 and The Early Show

Chris Wragge serves as co-anchor of CBS 2 News at 5 and 11PM weekdays along Kristine Johnson. He also serves as co-anchor of the Saturday edition of THE EARLY SHOW with CNN's AC360 News Anchor Erica Hill. Wragge is also the fill-in anchor for Harry Smith and Russ Mitchell on the weekday edition of THE EARLY SHOW.

Wragge joined WCBS-TV in 2004 as the 5PM, 6PM, and 11PM weekday Sports Anchor/Sports Director. He made the jump to the role of news anchor in November of 2006. Since then, Wragge has reported on the Heroic landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, the 2008 Presidential Election, and The Sex Scandal that Brought down Governor Elliot Spitzer, The East Side Crane Collapse, The Brooklyn Tornado, The Papal Visit, and the current collapse of the nation's economy.

A 6-time Emmy Award Winner in news, Wragge embodies the word "Workaholic". Chris has worked 6 and 7 days a week since the year 2000.

Prior to arriving at CBS, Wragge came from NBC Sports and the NBC affiliate in Houston, Texas. Wragge spent four years roaming the sidelines for NBC Sports where he covered the NBA and NBA playoffs for two years working alongside play-by-play men Marv Albert, Tom Hammond and Mike Breen. Wragge also covered the WNBA for two seasons, hosting the WNBA finals in 2002. He also served as a host for NBC's Sun America Sportsdesk from 2002-2004.

Wragge is proud to rank his role in NBC's Olympic Coverage from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City as one of the highlights of his career to date. In Salt Lake City, he joined Katie Couric and Jim McKay on the Opening Ceremony broadcast, one of the highest-rated ceremonies in the history of the Olympics. While there, he interviewed such Olympic heroes as Picabo Street, Cammy Granato, and Apollo Ohno. Wragge also served as the Short Track Speed Skating reporter, and as a reporter for the Olympic Sports desk.

Wragge's extensive sports coverage for NBC also included sideline duties for Notre Dame football, the New Year's Day Gator Bowl, and the Professional Bull Rider's Association. In 2003 and 2004, Wragge joined NBC's golf coverage at the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.

In December 2002, Wragge joined the USA Network as an on-site reporter for "PGA Tour Sunday," part of the USA Network's extensive professional golf coverage. 2006 was Wragge's 4th and final season with the show, an experience that allowed him to cover four Masters', four U.S. Open's, four PGA Championships, a Ryder Cup and over 75 other PGA Tour stops.

Wragge is no stranger to national television audiences after a career that has taken him to the red carpets of the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and major movie premieres as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight from 1996-2000. Wragge has also worked for The Travel Channel, DIY Network and HGTV.

Along the way, Wragge has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show 4 times, MTV's Rock and Jock Super Bowl Football Spectacular. He has emceed 2 Planet Hollywood Openings with Sylvester Stallone, appeared in Various Paramount TV shows while at Entertainment Tonight and was the target of a Candid Camera Stunt with Peter Funt.

In 2004, another personal goal was accomplished. The chance to come back home to New York and work for the station he grew up watching, WCBS. In his sports capacity at Ch. 2 Wragge helped developed and also hosted "Sunday Blitz presented by State Farm," an NFL pre-game show highlighting the upcoming Jets and Giants Kick-offs. He also hosted "Sports Sunday presented by Nissan", a Sunday Night highlight show. Wragge earned himself 2 NY State Broadcasters Association Awards for Sports Sunday and for his coverage of October Baseball in NY for the 2006 season. Wragge traveled with the New York Jets and Giants during the NFL Football Season, and during the NFL Pre-Season he joined CBS Sports' Ian Eagle and former Jets Linebacker Greg Buttle for CBS Sports' production of the Jets Pre-Season games. Wragge also served as the game's half-time host. When the NFL Season concluded, Wragge took his "shows on the road" to Yankees and Mets Spring Training for the month of February. Wragge's duties at CBS also extended to CBS Sports, where he was seen as one of the hosts of the AT&T CBS Sportsdesk.

Wragge also worked at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas, WVIT-TV in Hartford, Connecticut and WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, raised in Rutherford and Nutley, NJ, Wragge attended Mahwah High School in Bergen County. He received a football scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. Wragge resides in Manhattan. Whom You Know is so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Chris Wragge for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: When did you realize you wanted to be an anchor?
Chris Wragge: This is something I’ve wanted to do all my life.. I come from a “no nonsense” family, so communication, honesty, and straight talk is something that was instilled in me at a young age. As far as wanting to be an actual news anchor… I would go back to 9/11. Having been a sports anchor all my career, it was the first time I felt my contributions were minimal. It made me want to add to the bigger picture. Born and raised here in NJ/NY, I was in Texas at the time of the attacks and so wanted to run back to help and volunteer in any way possible, my role at the time prevented me from doing so, and I wanted that to change one day.

What stories have been the most challenging to cover in your career?
Dealing with the daily loss of lives is tough.. we read and report on it because we have to.. but on the other side is a family or an individual who is suffering. I never lose sight of that.

What is the funniest story you've covered?
Funny stories?.. Each and every day a new study comes out contradicting a new study we brought you the week prior! That amuses me. One week, Coffee, wine, beer, Soft drinks, etc are killing you.. the next… all will help you live a longer life if taken in moderation! Who knows what to believe.

What would most people not realize about what happens behind the scenes of a newscast?
Lots of talking during the commercial breaks.. what stories are added, dropped, moved around.. what camera you’ll be on, who you are tossing to… then all of a sudden you get the “5..4..3…2… “ the commercial breaks go by very quickly.

Who have been your most favorite people to work with as anchors/reporters and why?
I have said it before and I will say it again.. I work with three of the best women anywhere. Kristine Johnson, Dana Tyler and Erica Hill. I am truly blessed to be able to sit next to three women I like, respect and honestly call “Close Friends” Makes the job so much more enjoyable. All three are funny like you would not believe.

What do you think is the key to winning 6 Emmys?
Team work and a little luck. With every award comes about 20 people you need to thank. It’s always a collaborative effort.. I’m lucky I have good people around me. The luck is with the judges.. one never knows what they are looking for from year to year. Its nice to be nominated.. really nice to win every once in a while!

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
My parents and my siblings.. I wake every day looking to continue to make them proud. Some days are easier than others.

Whom You Know also loves Connecticut. How did you like working at Channel 30?
Loved my time at CH 30.. it was a great time in my life.. I used to pass the studio’s on my rides home from college (UNH), I would always say.. “I really want to work there one day”.. luckily I had the chance at 24. Made some great friends and lived in West Hartford.. what a blast.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
A few places.. On my roof deck at my apt.. I read the papers up there every day.. very relaxing. And since I live 2 blocks from Central Park.. I really love it there. Nothing better, summer, fall, winter, spring!

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Zegna store on 5th avenue.. its where I get my suits.. but I cannot go there too often. They steal all my money!

What is your favorite drink?
Diet Dr Pepper.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Lure on corner of Spring and Prince. Cipriani on West Broadway. Serafina on Broadway, Dell Arte on 57th and 7th

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Love playing softball in central park every Friday afternoon. Biking the entire park loop and running the reservoir run a close second!

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
NOT HAVE TO DRIVE!, Eat dinner at 2am!

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Love MOMA and the Museum of Natural History.. just blocks aways from me and an hour or two at the Planetarium reminds me of all the field trips I used to take here when I was in school.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated.. just how great the people are. Tourist and/or outsiders tend to think its too uptight a place with too manty uptight people… they are getting bad info!
Overrated.. The Hudson River.. not as good a runway as Captain Chesley Sullenburger would make you think!

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Champagne Wishes… nothing better than after 6 days a week of working to sit down with a nice libation!

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I love my family, job, and golf! The order varies. lol

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Email.. or facebook.

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