Denise is proud to be the co-anchor of News 8 at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10.

Denise has been anchoring and reporting since her first days on the air at Western Illinois University. She graduated with a degree in broadcasting and a minor in economics. Denise was named Alumni of the Year in the WIU Broadcasting department in 2006, and now serves on the Alumni Council for the university.

For her first job, Denise headed west to Sioux City, Iowa, where she spent two years as a reporter and anchor for KMEG 14. She got the chance to interview nearly every presidential candidate in the 2008 race.

Denise’s job then took her to Wichita, Kansas where she anchored the weekend newscasts at KWCH 12. Her reporting about the discovery of 96 neglected pit bulls in Kay County, Oklahoma earned her an Emmy nomination.

Denise lives with her husband and two sons in Davenport. She’s the host of a parenting podcast called On A Mother Level – Check it out on Apple Podcasts or WQAD.com


Recent Articles
  • On A Mother Level: Lady Doctor

    Dr. Ashley Kaiser, OB/GYN from The Group in Davenport joins Denise to help celebrate her little boy’s first birthday with a conversation about strength, growth, and the challenges of the first year of motherhood. Denise opens up about her own experiences with repeat c-sections and post-partum depression, plus the Facebook post that led to an important diagnosis.

  • On A Mother Level: Pawn Shops

    Maryann Tyler confesses her deep dark secret – a love for pawn shops. This hilarious conversation starts with a strange love affair for a good jewelry bargain. Then, she tells Denise about raising teenagers, the anxiety that seems prevalent in today’s teens and how she’s trying to establish relationships with them that are built on trust.

  • On A Mother Level: Tough Love

    Your sleep questions answered! Greta Zude from “My Baby Can Sleep” (an Amazon best seller!) is in studio to tackle the challenges that are keeping you, your baby, and toddler from getting a good night’s sleep. She’s offering some tough love to moms who are sometimes afraid to just say NO! Quiet nights are ahead if you heed her advice. Plus, Denise gives an update on the freeway frenzy toy debacle and News 8’s Elizabeth Wadas helps break down the […]

  • On A Mother Level: On Pointe

    In the spirit of Christmas, Denise is sharing her fascination with the art of ballet through a conversation with Claire Cordano and Domingo Rubio – professional dancers with Ballet Quad Cities. Ahead of their performances of The Nutcracker, they talk about what it takes to go pro, on-stage mishaps and how they’ve overcome injuries in their careers. Claire shares the magical moment she had on stage and the most important people to have in the audience. Plus, WQAD reporter Lauren […]

  • On A Mother Level: New Year

    We are ending the decade with Sara Kershaw, mom of 3 girls and high school English teacher. She tells Denise why 9 is her favorite “kid age” so far, the big transition coming in her house in 2020, and the best way you can help your child succeed in school that has everything to do with attitude.

  • On A Mother Level: Thread & Theory

    “On A Mother Level” goes on the road to Fort Lauderdale! Denise invites her sister-in-law Erika Hnytka to answer an important question, “What do you really think of our family?” Erika is the general manager of an eclectic antique and home accessories store called Vintage Vault. She’s also curated a collection of clothing for her new online boutique called Thread & Theory. Erika gets real about the toughest part of motherhood so far, and you’ll hear why Denise calls her […]

  • On A Mother Level: Sweet Eats

    Ally Billhorn started food blogging before it was cool. Ten years later, she is the chef behind Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats, where she shares her original recipes, cool new products to try, giveaways and gift ideas. She introduces Denise to the “Iowa Ham Ball”, her biggest food “fail”, plus they discuss how long it takes the average American to get irritated with their families around the holidays. Check out Ally’s blog here.

  • Dads join their daughters for Davenport dance class

    DAVENPORT, Iowa – Dance Works invited dads to join their daughters this week at all of their dance classes. It’s a yearly tradition at the dance studio that usually starts with laughs and ends with sore muscles. News 8’s Denise Hnytka reports.

  • Denise’s Favorite Things: Wallace’s Garden Center in Bettendorf

    Denise found some great gifts, including a limited edition ornament you can't get anywhere else.

  • On A Mother Level: First Lady

    Julie and Johnnie Jindrich join Denise for this special Thanksgiving episode. They talk traditions, raising stylish women, and the thrill of a natural childbirth. Johnnie explains how she missed the first trimester of her pregnancy, and Denise celebrates a prestigious hair award.

  • On A Mother Level: Two Abes

    Denise shares a bizarre connection with this week’s guest. Maggie Reckhemmer is the eye behind Iron & Lace Photography and the mother of two kids. Back in 2016, Denise and Maggie were both in the same place, at the same time, naming their baby the same thing. Weird, right? Maggie also talks about turning a passion into a career, despite a lack of sleep.

  • On A Mother Level: She Climbs

    Emma Hicks is an entrepreneur, a dreamer, a creator. The Iowa girl is taking life at a slower pace, on the farm with her three kids and husband. She tells Denise about letting go – embracing the mess and harnessing your failures. Learn all about Camp Climb, a weekend getaway for goal-oriented women coming up in August 2020.

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