Naperville native Joe Kennedy joined NCTV17 in May 2022 after graduating from Illinois State University. Kennedy is a Naperville Central alum and grew up in town with his older brother and sister. His mom’s side of the family, the Wehrlis, have lived in Naperville since 1846 and he has over 100 relatives on that side. His dad’s side of the family, the Kennedys, have lived in Naperville since the 1970s, and there are just five relatives. Joe likes the fact he can experience having a large and small family during the holidays.
Joe played a variety of sports growing up, but his favorite was definitely football. He played from first grade to senior year of high school and still competes in some flag football leagues. While Joe says that football is very exciting, its the friends and memories he made that will remain with him for the rest of his life.
Favorite sport to watch on television?
The easy answer would be football, but I love waking up early on the weekends (crazy, I know) to watch soccer and the English Premier League. It’s the perfect way to start the day, as either college football or the NFL kicks off right when the soccer games are ending.
Favorite college or professional sports team?
My favorite teams in order: 1) Chicago Bears 2) Liverpool FC 3) Chicago Cubs 4) University of Illinois athletics 5) Chicago Blackhawks 6) Chicago Bulls
Did you always want to work in media?
Yes, since middle school.
What drew you to NCTV17?
A job in my hometown that allowed me to gain experience in television, right out of college.
What is the best part of working for NCTV17?
The best part for me is interacting with the people who make up Naperville. Every story I do is different and with that, I meet all different types of people. It’s fun to share their stories and showcase who helps make Naperville what it is today.
Favorite Naperville news story?
It’s tough to choose, but probably my favorite story is about my former first-grade teacher running a marathon on every continent in the world. Dave Cleveland is well-known in the Naperville community for his time at Elmwood Elementary, Naperville Kiwanis, and many more places. I was happy to share his achievement and reconnect with one of my favorite teachers that I’ve ever had.
What is the most motivating part about your job?
The most motivating part of my job is that I learn something new every day. From learning new techniques with equipment, new writing styles, or hearing new information from an interview. As a journalist that’s just getting started, I’m motivated to learn whatever I can to gain more knowledge.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I’d tell myself to get into the action sooner rather than later. I wish I wrote more throughout high school or joined a club because that would’ve helped me when I got to college. For any high schooler looking to get into journalism, I think they should start a blog, podcast, or anything that can help prepare them for the next level.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
When I’m not working, you’ll probably find me at the golf course, or watching and/or playing many other sports. I like to go to concerts, whether it’s Bruce Springsteen or Kendrick Lamar, any music is good music to me! I love to visit family in Colorado and ski during the winter months.
Blues Brothers. Great movie, with some great music. It’s one of my mom’s favorites, so we’ve watched it a fair amount. I’ve grown to love it and its soundtrack.
PHOTO & BLOG CREDIT: Miranda Battaglia, NCTV17 Volunteer