Karen Swensen anchors the Eyewitness News at 5 and 6 o’clock on WWL-TV. An award-winning journalist, she’s covered everything from Hurricane Katrina and its long-term impact, to Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., to local and state politics, having recently moderated U.S. Senate and New Orleans mayoral debates.
Karen began her career at WWL-TV having worked her way up from assistant producer to anchor/reporter of The Eyewitness News at 6, 10. She was part of the station’s continuous coverage of Katrina, for which WWL-TV earned broadcasting journalism’s most prestigious awards: The George Foster Peabody Award, Edward R. Murrow Award and DuPont Columbia Award.
Karen also spent nearly ﬁve years in Boston as the morning anchor at NECN.
While there, she wrote and produced several documentaries, including “Katrina: A Flood of Tears,” a reporter’s account of the storm and its aftermath that revealed the personal loss, strength and resilience of the people of the Gulf South. It premiered at Harvard University, after which Karen moderated a panel discussion on the storm.
Karen has earned six Edward R Murrow regional awards for investigative journalism, writing and feature reporting, various Emmys, Gracies and Gabriel Awards, as well as Associated Press and Press Club Awards, including the New Orleans’ Press Club Award for best broadcast writing.
When not at work, she is focussed on being a wife and mom. Karen and her husband, John, have a 12-year-old daughter, Catherine, who keeps them busy with all sorts of sports and after school activities.
Karen is also the author of the children’s book, Catherine the Great and Her Teatime Tagalongs and the creator of “Life’s about Change,” a t-shirt company featuring a character and mantra meant to encourage people to embrace change and hope and whose proceeds have helped fund cancer research.
Karen graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors from The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Political Science and was a state ﬁnalist in the Rhodes Scholarship competition. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Penn State.