Viewers turn to Denise Koch when they want credible news reports presented by one of the most veteran news reporters and anchors in Baltimore.
The Emmy Award–winning journalist has traveled to China, West Africa and Jamaica to report the news. She’s also covered the home front from around the U.S. and from every corner of our state, bringing local, national and world events into sharp focus for WJZ viewers.
Even sports fans went with Denise as she covered Baltimore’s search for an NFL team in Chicago to the Ravens’ quest for the Super Bowl trophy in Tampa. Denise’s first introduction to WJZ viewers was on “Evening Magazine” where she was known as “Daring Denise,” tackling sports from hang gliding to scuba.
She joined the newsroom as a lifestyle reporter, reviewing plays and films and filing stories twice a day on the arts and creative side of life. For a number of years, viewers were given an intimate portrait of fascinating Marylanders on her interview program “Get to Know.”
She followed struggling high school students for four years as they participated in the “Futures” program. That series earned her both a Maryland State Teachers Award and a National Angels Award. And it was with high school students she traveled to Senegal to discover the roots of slavery. That series was later shown at museums and at the National Post Office in the nation’s capital.
Her work has garnered Denise a host of awards in addition to the aforementioned Emmy. Her reporting has been nominated for Emmys six times. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded her a prize for her documentary on Baltimore teachers in China, “Baltimore East.”
Denise, a California native, attended UCLA where she earned the prestigious Natalie Wood Award for her talents. She graduated from California Institute of the Arts and then received her master’s from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Her acting career took her to theatres around the country and even to the soap opera “Another World,” eventually bringing her to Center Stage where she also served as literary manager. She has taught at UMBC, University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin.
For more than two decades, Denise has been on WJZ’s anchor desk, one of the most respected broadcast journalists in town and also one of the most versatile.
Her work in the community is very important to her. She’s been on the advisory boards of the Hospice Network of Maryland, Success in Style (clothing women re-entering the workforce) and the Maryland Committee for the Children. She’s also a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Institute of Baltimore. It’s a panel of women, supported by Maryland’s only women’s college, Notre Dame University, dedicated to working for gender equity. For 10 years she was a member of the Howard County Arts Council and is currently a board member of the United Way of Central Maryland as well as a member of its women’s leadership council.
Denise and her husband live in Owings Mills.
The year 2020 was to be a year of celebration of American women and the 100 years we have had the legal right to vote and fully participate in our government. Sadly, this great anniversary has been eclipsed by a global pandemic. Nevertheless, women and women's rights are at the forefront of this crisis. Women, and women of color, are quite often the front-line workers making enormous sacrifices in the fight against this virus. Now, more than ever, women are answering the call, leading the charge and paying the price. And now, more than ever, we need their leadership.