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

Recent Articles
  • On A Mother Level: BRCA Brave

    Ashleigh Petersen from Carbon Cliff had a decision to make. Faced with a long family history of breast and ovarian cancer, she chose her life over her breasts. For the first time, she’s opening up about the decision to have a preventative mastectomy, starting a family, and feeling like herself in a “new” body.

  • Element Moline offers perfect space for guests to relax after work

    MOLINE, Illinois — The Element Moline isn’t just a place to stay. It’s a place for guests to gather after a long day at work. The hotel’s only been open for less than a year, but it’s finding its niche as the ideal place for long-term guests visiting the Quad Cities. Four days a week, the hotel staff offers a happy hour style event complimentary for guests. It features local beers, wine and snacks including warm bread, olives and cheeses. […]

  • On A Mother Level: Mother Daughter

    Katy Miller never intended to go into the soap business. But her mother-in-law’s sugar scrub recipe changed all her plans. It’s a future her teenage self never would have envisioned. “I would love to see my 16-year-old face if someone would say, ‘Hey little girl, not only are you going to move back to the Quad Cities one day, but you’re going to make soap with your mom, and this whole thing will have been your idea.’ No way. This […]

  • On A Mother Level: Dad Jokes

    Chris Schlichting is making dad jokes great again. A father of 3, Chris is also a high school teacher and stand-up comedian hustling for his next great gig (not this podcast). Chris talks to Denise about the early days when his twin boys were born at 28 weeks and the time they went viral because of a sucker punch.

  • On A Mother Level: ADHD Brains

    This is your brain on ADHD. Jessica from the Quad City Moms Blog shares how she was diagnosed with ADHD at 42 years old and how she’s now able to help her son deal with it too. Denise talks about her humiliating 5K run experience and explains why working moms should get a break in the sick kid debate.  

  • ON A MOTHER LEVEL: Joe Biden (Bonus Episode)

    In this bonus episode, Denise interviews former Vice President Joe Biden. This is the interview as it aired on WQAD News 8, plus the special podcast question Denise asks all her guests. Denise also gives the behind the scenes of covering a presidential campaign with special guest Jim Mertens. They talk about how the interview came about, the puking toddler that almost derailed the opportunity and whether women apologize too much.

  • On A Mother Level: Real Talk

    Wake up and do the work. Life and relationships coach Rumaisa Khawaja shares her strategies for staying on track and going after the things you want. She shares her morning habit that changes her mindset before she even has her coffee.

  • Davenport mom adjusting to life with newborn triplets

    DAVENPORT, Iowa — New mom Katie Licht has the routine down pat. Make the bottle. Wake the baby. Change the diaper. Eat, sleep, repeat. She does that cycle six times a day – or more- in these first months of caring for her newborn triplets. Lincoln, Callie and Dominic Licht were born in July 2019 at 34 weeks. Each weighed under 5 pounds and spent about 3 weeks in the NICU at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. […]

  • On A Mother Level: Licht Triplets

    Katie Licht tells all. She is a triplet mom from Davenport, Iowa who waited seven years for her babies to come. She opens about dealing with infertility, the treatment that finally worked, carrying 15 pounds of baby and life in the NICU after her triplets were born.

  • Davenport couple appearing on “House Hunters”

    DAVENPORT, Iowa — A Davenport couple will be featured on an episode of House Hunters next week on HGTV. Doug Dorris and his wife Lisa will be featured on the episode called “Dueling in Davenport”. The network released this summary. “A couple in Davenport, Iowa is looking for a home that’s more functional than their current condominium. He’s setting his sights on a single-family house. But she still wants the maintenance-free lifestyle that comes with condo living.” The couple is […]

  • On A Mother Level: Velvet Hangers

    We promise your house will be more organized, and you’ll have better style after listening to this conversation. Stephanie Bauwens-Rivera believes in the power of the velvet hanger. The stylist and closet organizer is making it easier to get dressed in the morning through her business Simply Stephanie. It all starts with the right hanger. She helps Denise make the most of the space in her closet while discovering her hidden stash of hooded sweatshirts stolen from old boyfriends. Stephanie’s […]

  • WQAD Helps Raise $5K for Dress for Success Quad Cities

    MOLINE, Illinois – Two benefits hosted by WQAD News 8 raised $5,000 for Dress for Success Quad Cities. News 8’s Angie Sharp and Denise Hnytka revealed the total during a special announcement on Thursday, September 5th. A Collection Drive and a Summer Social Benefit was held in August 2019. During the Collection Drive, people could stop by WQAD and place donations in one of the flood boots worn by staff members and volunteers of Dress for Success during the record-breaking […]

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