Erika Thomas anchors 5NEWS at 6, 9 & 10 PM with Daren Bobb and 5NEWS First at Four with Veronica Ortega. She came to 5NEWS in June 2017 after almost a decade of working in TV newsrooms across the country.
She was born in the Twin Cities and lived in Iowa City for three years before growing up in West Lafayette, Indiana. She attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and graduated summa cum laude with dual degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Economics. She reported and anchored at KOMU, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, for two years.
She started her full-time career in Sioux City, Iowa, where she spent five years at Siouxland News. She began as weekend anchor/producer and reporter, then morning anchor/reporter and ultimately evening anchor.
When the opportunity to go to Youngstown, Ohio, presented itself, she jumped at the chance to join a news team with a growing focus on investigative, in-depth coverage in the viewing area. She used her skills as an active, engaged anchor to help develop process storytelling during breaking news and exclusive content viewers couldn’t see anywhere else. She spent three years anchoring three hours of local news each weeknight at 5, 6 & 11 PM on WKBN 27, the CBS affiliate, and at 10 PM on FOX Youngstown. In her time there, she helped propel those newscasts to #1 in the market. The station also launched the first local broadcast using augmented & virtual reality elements in February 2015.
Erika is an award-winning journalist with her highest honor coming from RTDNA when the association recognized her work with the Regional Edward R. Murrow Award – Investigative Reporting for a three-part series about child sex abuse in northwest Iowa. That same series won other state and regional awards as well. The 6 PM newscast she anchored at WKBN also won an Emmy for Best Evening Newscast in 2016. The 5 PM newscast she solo anchored received an Emmy nomination for Best Daytime Newscast in 2017.
Erika loves traveling and has been fortunate to do so professionally. In September 2012, she spent two weeks traveling Europe as part of the RTDNF/RIAS German/American Journalist Exchange Program. She was one of a dozen journalists selected for this fellowship from across the country to spend time in Germany, Belgium & the Czech Republic. To this day, she uses lessons learned overseas to bring a global perspective to local news coverage.
While not working, Erika enjoys spending time with her husband Dan and their sons Axl and Knox. They love getting outdoors and exploring the world around them.
“It’s amazing how much life changes when you become a parent and see things through the eyes of a child,” said Erika. “I believe being a mother makes me a better journalist. I also volunteer in the community and spend time working with a number of important local organizations.”