Seasons Magazines

Seasons Magazines

Celebrating 30 Years Covering Connecticut

This year, I’m celebrating the big 3-0. Not a birthday, a milestone I reached long ago, but rather a streak of longevity in my professional life: 30 years of serving the people of Connecticut on the news.

Remember when the number one song on Billboard was Madonna’s “This Used to be my Playground,” people were watching a new show called “Melrose Place,” and gas was about $1.15 a gallon? It was the summer of ’92. I was beginning a new chapter in my broadcast journalism career in Hartford, Conn.

I packed up my Pontiac Sunbird and moved from Michigan back to New England to start a new job at WFSB-TV. The station put me up for three weeks at what was then the Ramada Inn, adjacent to what is now Dunkin Donuts Park. At the time, it was the only place in the downtown area with an outdoor pool!

I got an apartment downtown so I could walk to work at Broadcast House on Constitution Plaza, watch the cannons be fired by people in revolutionary garb at the Old State House and grab lunch at the Marble Pillar. I could shop at G. Fox or catch a Hartford Whalers game at the Hartford Civic Center, which was also home to many stores and restaurants.

I worked with people like Gayle King and Denise D’Ascenzo, both of whom would later become my co-anchors and dear friends. At the station, I also made friends with fellow rookies Mika Brzezinski and David Ushery, among others. We were always hitting the many hangouts in Hartford. One night, I met an ESPN newbie named Steve Levy, who will be celebrating 30 years in Connecticut next year. I’m friends with all of them to this day.

Now I am very grateful to be part of WTNH, Connecticut’s most experienced news team, which includes Ann Nyberg, Darren Kramer, Keith Kountz, Lisa Carberg and so many others. I wish I could name them all here. I’m also reunited with Joe Furey, who I worked with on “Daybreak” in the 1990s.

Thirty years. Three decades. It was a different world when I first moved to the Constitution State. It was pre-internet. I carried a beeper. I didn’t get a cell phone until the late ‘90s; they were bulky and super expensive back then.

So much has happened after my first day on the job on August 31, 1992. I covered a ton of stories all over the state and beyond. My first story was a Labor Day traffic piece. In my first few years there, I spent a night in prison for a special series of reports, stood in deep snow in a blizzard, heard gunshots for the first time in my life and did some extensive traveling for big stories.

I jetted to Georgia when there was talk Pratt & Whitney might move there. I sat a few rows behind O.J. Simpson as Connecticut’s famed forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee testified at the fallen football legend’s trial. I stood in blazing heat and pouring rain to cover Pope John Paul’s visit to New York and New Jersey.

Years later, I traveled to Rome to cover a papal conference and returned to the Vatican for the pope’s funeral. There was a trip the to the Olympics and wildfires in Florida as well as stories in Maine, Washington D.C, California, Florida. Illinois and other places.

My assignment was always to find the information in these faraway places that related to our state. In every location, I did that, inevitably meeting someone from our great state no matter where we were. I’ve run into several of them over the years back here in Connecticut.

My biggest assignment was 9/11. I headed down to Manhattan immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and spent the better part of a few weeks there anchoring our coverage of the terrorism that changed the world forever. It was also a life-changing time for me.

My future wife was on assignment there. Kara Sundlun and I had been dating for a while, but reporting together on the destruction, sadness and grief in lower Manhattan made us realize it was time to begin the rest of our lives together. We got married, had two beautiful children, and along the way fell in love with Connecticut and made it our home.

When I first came to Hartford, my goals were to put in a few years and move on to New York and Boston. But the longer I lived here, the more I liked it; by the time Kara and I were raising kids here, we really learned to appreciate all this state has to offer. We love it and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Maybe Italy for a year would be cool, and you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to take an eight-week vacation in January and February to a warm climate, but you get my point.

I love the cities of our state to the small towns. The beaches, mountains, rivers and lakes. Buildings that date back to the 17th century, culture, entertainment and history everywhere.

I recently had lunch with Gayle King, who also loves Connecticut. She picked the place, one of her old favorites: the legendary Louis Lunch in New Haven, birthplace of the hamburger. Connecticut has unique places to eat, from the legendary Griswold Inn in Essex to Tangiers in Hartford to Little Puerto Rico in Waterbury that only serves loaded baked potatoes, loaded French fries and pina coladas.

It’s a great honor to serve the people of Connecticut by bringing the news to you for the past three decades. I promise I will work just as hard in the next decade. I have returned to a schedule I had for so many years: anchoring the 6 and 11 o’clock news every Monday through Friday, and hosting the Sunday “This Week in Connecticut” show on WTNH, News 8.

Thank you Connecticut! 




If you know a story Dennis House should cover, email