KSTP Anchors Megan Newquist and Eric Kahnert embrace Edina.
As fans, we find a star’s life fascinating. Their hangouts seem cooler, their favorite foods tastier and their clothing choices hipper. Despite these intriguing qualities, at the heart, stars are like you and me.
Chalk it up to down home Minnesota daily living or perhaps devotion to their families: Edina residents Eric Kahnert and Megan Newquist are down to earth and embrace normality. They frequent Edina hotspots and enjoy Minnesotan winters. Their families are their top priorities. The difference? You can catch them on Channel 5.
There’s No Place Like Home
A turbulent tornado hit Apple Valley years ago and changed Kahnert’s potential job search. Around the age of 10 at the time, the storm forced him and his family to take refuge in their home’s basement, where his dad proclaimed “thank God for the news.”
“I thought it was cool that the news affects people’s lives,” Kahnert says. “People are dependent on knowing what’s going on around them. (I thought) If I could be a part of that, that would be an admirable profession.”
His interest continued to grow throughout high school when he took on an internship at KARE 11. He was also a member of the Apple Valley hockey team when they won the state championship in 1996. Oddly enough, they captured the title against Edina, the place he now calls home.
Kahnert attended the University of Southern California (USC), a move that allowed him to play Division 2 hockey and earn a broadcast journalism degree. In the summer of 1999, Kahnert met his wife Allison in Nordstrom’s shoe department. He unloaded boxes from the truck and she worked on the sales floor. They married in 2006 and are now parents to 2-year-old Kaden and 1-year-old Cole. Kahnert credits his wife for his family’s structure and organization, admitting the “K-team” is a rambunctious clan.
The family moved back to Minnesota in August 2012, a move that thrilled Kahnert. In the last year, the family has moved, bought a new home and had a baby. He also celebrated his fifth Emmy nomination, having been nominated for best anchor in Denver (where he also won an Emmy for exposing employment fraud and problems within the Colorado labor department) and the Twin Cities. He ultimately lost to KARE 11 anchor Julie Nelson, but Kahnert considers it incredible honor to be nominated among Minnesotans he looks up to. Although overwhelming, the Kahnerts chalk it up as a fun year.
“I love being back home,” Kahnert says. “I have known things that other anchors take a long time to learn.”
Kahnert admits his views of Edina, his onetime high school rival, have drastically changed. He frequents the parks and credits the “neighborhood feeling” as his favorite aspect of the city. His family loves McCormick and Schmick’s , Salut and Wuollet’s Bakery, and they spend many hours walking the 50th and France neighborhood. His weekends always involve spending time with his kids and pancake breakfasts, a family tradition.
This winter marks the beginning of a Kahnert family favorite: hockey season. Even last year’s snowman received the “K-team” treatment, hockey stick arms and all.
Just Call Me Mom
Megan Newquist always knew she wanted to be an anchor. As a young girl in Sacramento, she watched the local news with great interest.
She jumped at the opportunity to study mass communication and journalism at California State University at Sacramento years later. Here she also met her future husband, Josh, now a firefighter. He in a fraternity, she in a sorority, they locked eyes one night at a “god-awful fraternity party.” They celebrated their 10-year anniversary last April.
After working in California and Kentucky, the couple made the journey to Edina four and a half years ago, a move the self-proclaimed “California girl” never considered. Parka and boots in tow, she now calls KSTP home where her day begins well before dawn at 2:30 a.m.
“I like telling people stories,” Newquist says. “They feel like they know you. It’s a great feeling, a huge honor.”
Megan and Josh’s daily lives surround their two-year old twins Reed and Sophia. Among potty-training duties, cooking meals and naptime, she admits her free time amounts to family time. When the couple made the move to Edina, they were thrilled by the city parks, a drastic change from what they found in California.
“I cannot believe how many parks are within walking distance. I am such a mom saying that,” she admits.
Similar to her co-worker Kahnert, Newquist’s weekends are devoted to family.
When she does get the itch, she credits favorite shopping spot Bluebird Boutique and Italian eatery Arezzo Ristorante as must visits. A former adrenaline junkie, Newquist dives, hang glides and rides roller coasters (although now as a mom, not as much as she used to.) However, she deems herself a “total home-body.” Snowshoeing with the kids is on this winter’s to-do list. She holds hope that the rambunctious two-year olds won’t ruin the peace and serenity winter days offer.
“They’re a lot of fun, it’s a comedy of errors at my house all the time,” she laughs.
Watch Eric Kahnert at 4:30 and 5 p.m. on Channel 5, and 9 p.m. on Channel 45 Monday through Thursday. Each Friday, he adds the 6 and 10 p.m. time slots on Channel 5 to his lineup. Spend your mornings with Megan Newquist from 4:30-7 a.m. on Channel 5 and 7-9 a.m. on Channel 45 every weekday.