Dec. 4, 2015 // Communicating for Safety 2016 Speaker Spotlight: David Kerley, ABC News
NATCA’s Communicating For Safety (CFS) Planning Committee is proud to announce another great speaker for CFS 2016: ABC News Transportation Correspondent David Kerley. Kerley will be the second member of the media to speak at CFS. He will join the CFS stage on Wednesday, March 23, for an in-depth discussion about aviation and air traffic in the media, including how media stories can shape and influence the aviation industry.
Kerley is a correspondent for ABC News based in Washington, D.C. He joined the network in 2004 and contributes regularly to all ABC News broadcasts, including “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightline.” He also contributes to ABC News’ digital properties, including ABC News Radio, ABC News NOW, and ABCNews.com. He currently covers transportation issues, including aviation.
Kerley has reported on the disappearance of MH370, breaking the news worldwide that systems on the aircraft were intentionally shut off. Kerley has traveled to every continent except Antarctica for ABC News, though he did report from the Arctic as a U.S. Navy submarine broke through the ice as part of a rare operation. He has followed and covered presidents, and has also reported on the war in Iraq. He’s covered two presidential campaigns and several political battles on Capitol Hill.
Since joining ABC News, Kerley has covered breaking news stories, including the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, several deadly mining disasters in West Virginia, and was the first ABC correspondent on the scene of the Virginia Tech shootings.
During a half dozen assignments in Iraq, Kerley covered the beginning of the “Sons of Iraq” movement, which helped to end hostilities. He was there as U.S. forces handed control over to the Iraqi military. Kerley also broke the news on adulterated products from China, like lead paint on toys and contaminated pet food, even reporting from China on several occasions.
In August 2005, he covered Hurricane Katrina from the eye of the storm as it came ashore in Biloxi, Miss. Following Katrina, he reported from Key West, Fla., as Hurricane Rita made landfall. Weeks later in Cancun, Mexico, he and his crew rode out more than 51 hours of Hurricane Wilma’s Category 4 winds.
Prior to joining ABC, Kerley spent more than 20 years anchoring and reporting in several cities. Most recently, he was the primary anchor at WBBM-TV in Chicago, where he covered breaking news, including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the 1999 Chicago blizzard.
In 1995, he anchored several hours of coverage from Oklahoma City in the hours and days after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. His in-depth reporting has included stories on the technology boom, genetically engineered crops, African-American Islam, American Neo-Nazis, and the U.S. military.
Kerley has been honored with National and Regional Emmy Awards, a Peabody award, and Edward R. Murrow awards for coverage at ABC News.
Before his work in Chicago, Kerley worked for stations in Seattle, Boise, and Santa Maria, Calif. He received a bachelor of science degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. A native of Southern California, Kerley and his wife, Janet, have two children.
Kerley is a keen aviation buff who is always interested in telling the best aviation and air traffic-related stories with accurate information on-air. NATCA’s Communications Department enjoys a great relationship with Kerley and the ABC News Transportation team, and have worked with them on coverage of many stories about NATCA members’ great work, including NATCA’s Archie League Medal of Safety Award winners. In 2013, Kerley and his now former Transportation Producer, Matt Hosford, helped shepherd the story of NATCA Southwest Region Archie League Award winner LouElla Hollingsworth to production on ABC World News Tonight. Watch the story.