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
  • Chris Minor makes her mark reporting on some of the QC’s most infamous crimes

    "I think she's the best I've ever seen," Judge Walter Braud.

  • First year teacher making her mark on Jordan Catholic students

    Mary Nonnenmann cautiously walked up to her classroom at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island, where Sister Clementia is standing in front of the class. “Sister? I would like to give you this reward, because you’re my favorite teacher,” she said quietly. Sister Clementia’s cheeks turned bright red as she smiled brightly back at Mary. She accepted the plaque Mary was holding with a warm, “Thank you”. Sister noticed the crowd forming in her room, while her students loudly cheered. […]

  • My Favorite Teacher: Honoring the little things

    ALEXIS, Illinois – When Katie Dutton was pulled out of class that morning, her third grade teacher, Mrs. Shimmin was a little curious. But it all made sense about 30 minutes later, when Katie walked back in holding a plaque. “Mrs. Shimmin you’re my favorite teacher!” Katie exclaimed. “So that’s where you’ve been,” Mrs. Shimmin replied, shocked. “Thank you, sweetheart.” Dutton nominated Mrs. Shimmin for WQAD News 8’s “My Favorite Teacher” award, sponsored by Blackhawk Bank and Trust and Western […]

  • The Making of a Marine: Graduation Day at MCRD

    The recruits of Company M, now officially Marines, are seeing their families for the first time in three months. It's graduation day.

  • The Making of a Marine: Taking on the Crucible

    Marines are made at Camp Pendleton in the mountains of southern California. Recruits spend three weeks there as part of their basic training. It all leads up to a 54 hour challenge known as the Crucible. The test takes place in the mountains, where recruits simulate a combat situation. There are miles of hiking over rough terrain. Recruits are pushed further with limited food and sleep. It’s meant to prepare them for whatever situation they may find themselves in, in […]

  • The Making of a Marine: Maintaining a musical tradition

    Proof that the Marine Corps Band is more than patriotic marches.

  • The Making of a Marine: QC Teachers experience boot camp

    Teachers on board the white bus hadn’t gotten to finish their coffee that morning. The bus driver told them spills would make his floor sticky. The bus pulls up to a yellow building at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and a loud voice gets on. “Get off my bus!” That voice belongs to a Marine Corps drill instructor. He skips over any pleasantries or greetings, demanding the teachers get off the bus and stand in lines on what are known […]

  • Challenger says Governor Rauner “betrayed” Illinois Republicans

    MOLINE, Illinois – Republican State Representative Jeanne Ives says she’s challenging the Governor in the March primary because he betrayed the party. She says she started getting calls to get in the race after Governor Bruce Rauner signed the  expanding abortion coverage for women on Medicaid. She also says he surrendered to the Democrats by agreeing to what she considers a bailout of Chicago Public Schools. “Governor Rauner betrayed our party and our values,” Rep. Ives said. “He lied to […]

  • Eldridge teen gets a callback at “American Idol” auditions

    CHICAGO —  American Idol auditions on Monday, September 11th attracted thousands of performers, but only a handful could get a callback to the next round. One of them is 19-year-old Harmoni Eiland from Eldridge, Iowa. She wowed the judges with her performance of “It’s a Man’s Man’s World”, earning her a return trip for the second day of auditions. Eiland was one of two Quad City area performers in Chicago, after winning a “Front of the Line” pass at Quad […]

  • NEWS 8 TRIO: 3 fair foods to make at home

    Catch the NEWS 8 TRIO every Tuesday and Thursday night on “News 8 at 6:30” for three great ideas to make your life better and more interesting. Denise and Johnnie are back to show us 3 ways to bring the fair to you, with something sweet, something fried and something on a stick! A must-have at the fair – funnel cakes! These are made with pancake batter. Something to wet your whistle. What’s sweeter than a donut milkshake? Chocolate-covered bacon […]

  • Bachelor Ben Higgins talks about his time on the show, breaking up with Lauren and what he’s up to now

    EAST MOLINE, Illinois — Ben Higgins loves golf. That’s why he was thrilled to be invited to the Quad Cities to play in John Deere Classic ProAm. He appeared on Season 20 of the The Bachelor back in 2016, but life has only gotten busier for him. He talked with News 8’s Denise Hnytka about his life now, his experience on the show, and his take on relationships away from reality TV. Ben’s been on the road a lot recently. […]

  • Bachelor Ben Higgins golfs to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs

    EAST MOLINE, Illinois — 150 golfers came out to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley on Tuesday, July 11. This is the 16th year for the golf invitational that’s become the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year. BGCMV supports 600 Quad Cities kids, ranging in age from 6-18 years old. It costs at least $1,000 per child to pay for the programs that support them each year. The organization is expanding with a fourth location next […]

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