Dana Dean has been a fixture on KSDK for years. We got to know her off-air to see how she tackles work and motherhood.
Tell us about your family!
My husband is Ryan, and if you watch Channel 5, you’ll know him. He’s been on-air since 2008, and then he moved into management. We’ve worked together since we met in Syracuse in 2006, always at the same station. A lot of people think, “how could you work together?” but it’s great… it’s all I know.
We have two boys. Deacon is 16 months old, and Jack is 5-years-old. They are total opposites — everything that Jack didn’t like as a baby, Deacon likes, and vice versa. You think you know parenthood, and then you have a second kid. Jack is more careful and follows the rules, and Deacon has a bit more of a wild child inside him.
What is your birth story?
I became pregnant with Jack in 2014 when I was a morning show reporter. It was difficult getting up early, being tired, and always trying to find a bathroom. The struggle is real when you’re a pregnant reporter, waking at 2 am every day. I forget when my alarm would go off, but it wasn’t enjoyable. I stayed on in the morning until he was nine months old. At that point, I moved to Show Me St. Louis, which was a better move for our family.
I got pregnant again in 2018, and this pregnancy was completely different. I had Deacon on time on Labor Day. I remember there was a Friends reunion running in the hospital, of course, all baby episodes.
Jack was colicky – that was tough. You do get through it, and it’s just a phase. We had to go to bed at 6 pm as we trained him to sleep. We don’t have family here, so it’s crazy to figure out childcare with the morning show schedule. Now I get to take them to daycare.
Deacon was not colicky, and it was a lot easier. I forced myself to get out of the house. I didn’t have a village, so I had to make a village. I had to figure it out. My church group is helpful and will do anything for us. We also have our neighbors.
How did you meet your hubby?
We met at work in 2006. I was looking at the bio photos on the website and thought, “oh, he’s cute.” We worked in bureaus three hours away from each other, so we put ourselves on speakerphones and wrote our stories together. I met him in person for the first time at the New York State Fair public relations event. We got married in 2011, in Ithaca, and moved to STL in 2008. He got a job here first, and then I sent my VHS tape to 40 stations when a local competitor called me. We work slightly different hours. However, it’s great to work at the same place. It was love-at-first-sight; I immediately knew he was the one. I had never met someone so personable. Our first date was an American Idol concert.
Favorite date night spot in STL?
Olive + Oak bar (in our favorite two seats, we get there at 4 pm), Carl’s Drive-In, and throw in an errand or Lucky’s Sip n’ Stroll.
Favorite spot for kids in STL?
We go to the Magic House every weekend because the kids love it, so why go anywhere else?
How did you get into journalism? Tell us about your career.
I knew I wanted to be a reporter since I was 14. I lived next to a weatherman, Dallas Raynes. I would watch him on TV, and I liked the idea of the business. I applied to good schools for broadcast journalism, and I went to Boston University, where I graduated in 2006. I then interned at a station in Boston and heard that NY was looking for someone. I got the job the day after I graduated from college, at a bureau in Potsdam. Then went to a bureau in Binhamgton for year two, and ended up in St. Louis in 2008. We love St. Louis. We have been here for 12 years. We wanted to put down roots and didn’t want to move around. We hit the jackpot in St. Louis, so why think the grass is greener anywhere else?
What is the hardest/best part of working in STL?
Show Me St. Louis has been on the air for 25 years, which proves there is a lot to do in STL. From artistic people to entrepreneurs, I’m amazed by all of the talented people in St. Louis.
How do you balance work and motherhood?
There’s no such thing as balance! Some days you want a do-over.
What else would you like us to know about you?
I’m obsessed with makeup. I would be a makeup artist if I could. I love going to the drug store or Sephora with a girlfriend and showing them how to apply makeup and choose colors that work well with their skin. It’s a huge passion of mine. I also love Orangetheory!
Dana Dean is the host of Show Me St. Louis on 5 On Your Side in St. Louis, Missouri and specializes in feature reporting.
She’s an Emmy Award-winning multimedia journalist, which means she shoots, writes, and edits most of her stories that you see on TV. She started at 5 On Your Side in 2008. You can catch her stories on Show Me St. Louis weekdays at 10 a.m.
Dana started at 5 On Your Side as a reporter for Show Me St. Louis before moving to mornings and reporting for Today in St. Louis in 2011. She worked the early shift for four years before returning to her roots at Show Me St. Louis in 2015.
Dana is married to Ryan Dean, a former reporter and current managing editor of news. They have two sons – Jack and Deacon.
Prior to 5 On Your Side, Dana worked as a reporter in upstate New York. She is a graduate of Boston University.