Leigh Mills

5pm, 6pm and 10pm News Anchor
NBC15
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Hometown
Cortland, Ohio… although I now consider southern Wisconsin my home.

Years at station
10 years! I started on Sept. 17, 2003.

Other professional experience
If you don't count the two other positions I've held at the station (I was a general assignment reporter at NBC 15 from September 2003-July 2004 and then took a seat at the anchor desk as weekend anchor for 6 months), I moved to Madison from Ohio, where I spent four years as a reporter, anchor, producer, and sometimes photographer and editor for WOUB-TV in Athens, OH. I also worked at The Government Channel in Athens, where I hosted election shows and covered city government news. And I spent a short time working in Charleston, West Virginia at WCHS-TV.

Awards/Recognitions you have received
2013 -- "Best of Madison" Evening News Team, gold

2013 -- Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Award for live reporting

2012 -- "Best of Madison" TV Personality, silver

2012 -- Associated Press Award for Enterprise Reporting for "DA Shortage" - an in-depth look at the shortage in the Dane County District Attorney's Office and how it impacts domestic violence victims and cases

2012 -- Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Award for Hard News/Investigative for "DA Shortage"

2012 -- Media Award for Excellence, presented by NAMI Dane County

2011 -- Midwest Emmy Nomination in Health Reporting for "Teen Anorexia" - a story on two parents' struggle to save their young daughter after an eating disorder almost killed her.

2011 -- Midwest Emmy Nomination in Serious Feature/Hard News for "Quadruple Homicide: One Year Later" - a story about the pain and recovery for 3 different families affected by a quadruple homicide - the worst crime of domestic violence Dane County has ever seen.

2011 -- Associated Press Award for Best Hard News for "Quadruple Violence: One Year Later"

2011 -- Wisconsin Broadcasters Association 3rd place in Hard News/Investigative for "Quadruple Homicide: One Year Later"

2010 -- RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Feature: "Power to Forgive" - a story about a woman's ability to forgive and even love the two men who shot her in the head and left her to die.

2010 -- Excellence in Media Award, presented by Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, for "The Silent Crime" - a story about the lasting impact on a family after a domestic violence homicide.

2010 -- RTDNA Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "Power to Forgive"

2010 -- Associated Press Feature Award for "Power to Forgive"

2010 -- Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Feature Award for "Power to Forgive"

2009 -- Midwest Emmy Winner for "Power to Forgive"

2009 -- Midwest Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Achievement for On-Camera Talent: News Anchor

2009 -- Midwest Emmy Nomination for "A Mother's Mission" - a story about a little girl who receives hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat a genetic disorder that causes developmental delays.

2008 -- Madison's Best Local Television Broadcaster from the Madison.com Readers' Choice Awards

2008 -- Best Live On-Scene Reporting from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for "Lake Delton Aftermath"

2008 -- Midwest Emmy Nomination for “Miracle of Medicine” - a story about one man’s battle to save his own life and the unlikely difference maker: the blood of a baby girl.

2007 -- Associated Press Award for Best Hard News: Non-Spot for "Miracle of Medicine"

2007 -- Outstanding Media Partner from the National MS Society Wisconsin Chapter

2006 – Midwest Emmy Nomination for “More Than Meets the Eye” - a two-part series on two men leading seemingly normal lives with extraordinary abilities to help/influence others.

2005 – Associated Press Award for “Inside Firehouse One” - an hour long documentary capturing a day in the life of a Madison firefighter working at station #1.

2005 – Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Merit Award for “Inside Firehouse One”

2005 – Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Best Hard News Story of 2005 for “Camp Shelby,” a story on the sendoff of nearly 700 Wisconsin Army National Guard members, who made up the first combat deployment of Wisconsin Army Guard forces since World War II. We traveled to Mississippi for the sendoff.

As a senior in college, I won the highest Scripps School of Journalism award and scholarship for excellence in journalism.

Education
I graduated from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University with a major in Broadcast-Journalism and a minor in French. I also spent 3 months studying in Tours, France at the Institut de Touraine. I started studying journalism at Northwestern University through its Radio, TV and Film program as a high school senior.

Hobbies and/or interests
I am married to my best friend and have two stepchildren and a dog, so much of my spare time is spent with my family. I also enjoy outdoor activities, including running, biking and riding horses. In fact, in 2011 I competed in an "A show" for horse jumping! I also enjoy downhill skiing and am trying to get better at skate skiing on some of the cross country trails. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing the piano and watching movies. And even in Packers country, I’m not afraid to admit that I am still a Cleveland Browns fan!

Community Involvement
I am an active volunteer with the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I emcee the MS Walk and MS Luncheon in Madison and ride Bike MS, a two day 150 mile bike ride from Waukesha to Whitewater to Madison. I am on the Madison Ballet Board of Directors, and I am on the Board of Trustees for DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services). I also emcee the DAIS Luncheon and other DAIS events. And I volunteer for NAMI Dane County and the United Way. During the summer, you can find me at area Relay for Life events, festivals and parades and when I'm lucky, judging food contests!

What are your favorite books?
Harry Potter, Life in Mid Air, Loving Frank, Firefly Lane, Bravehearts and The Exorcist. Right now my husband and I are reading a Stephen King book. The Secret Garden is probably my favorite from my childhood.

What is your favorite movie?
My all-time favorite is Shakespeare in Love (1999 Best Picture). I love so many movies. My favorite genres are period pieces, drama, thriller, action/adventure and romance. I also enjoy revisiting older animated movies and musicals. If I had to name a few favs, my list would be: Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, The Notebook, The Sound of Music, The Little Mermaid, The Cutting Edge, Pulp Fiction and The Departed.

Describe your most interesting assignment?
I find enjoyment in many stories I work on, but there are a few in particular that stick out in my mind. My two favorite annual assignments are surprising area teachers with the Crystal Apple Award every May and covering the latest news related to Multiple Sclerosis and the impact the disease has on area families every July.

One of my most interesting/memorable stories focused on forgiveness. I interviewed Jackie Millar, who was shot in the back of the head by two teenagers and left to die. Now 13 years later, she visits both men in prison, hugs them and even tells them that she loves them. She is an inspiring story of choices, forgiveness and love.

Another story that really sticks out in my mind focused on a lodge in the Northwoods that caters to families with terminally sick children or those that have recently lost a child. It is a place for families to grieve and also a place for them to make new memories. I interviewed a Wisconsin family that so bravely told the story of their second son, who was a stillbirth. Their story impacted so many area families. I was proud to have played a small role in making that happen.

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