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A veteran news anchor will guide attendees through WEC in Louisville

By Jason Hensel, Journalist | Feb 12, 2024

A few years ago, a Louisville-based agent reached out to Shannon Cogan to ask if she could play an anchor in the Nicolas Cage movie “Mom and Dad.” It was being filmed in the city, she says, and apparently, it’s very hard for actors to play anchors. 

“Since then, I’ve been cast in about 10 films, always playing the role of a reporter or anchor, except for one movie where I played a real estate developer,” Cogan says. “I keep waiting for the call that I’ve been cast as the star of the movie!”

There is one starring role for Cogan coming up soon. MPI has tapped her to be the emcee for the World Education Congress (WEC) in Louisville, Ky., May 20-22. She’s well suited for the job as an experienced journalist.

“I think a good emcee must be able to think on their feet, react to changes and the mood of the room,” she says. “A good sense of humor certainly doesn’t hurt either!

For her, a memorable event is a success if the attendees leave feeling inspired to return home and excited to use everything they learned. 


A career in journalism 

Cogan is an anchor for WAVE News Sunrise and WAVE News Midday, an NBC affiliate in Louisville. She’s been with WAVE News since June 2013 and previously worked for the CBS Miami station as an evening anchor and as the morning news anchor for the CBS Dallas station. There, she contributed to stories about former Dallas Cowboys players for a show hosted by Troy Aikman and Babe Laufenberg. She also worked at the NBC affiliate in Orlando where she covered the Columbia space shuttle disaster and the 2000 U.S. presidential election. 

Working in journalism today can be tough, but Cogan says one challenge stands out over the rest.

“Without a doubt, it’s the changing technology,” she says. “Today, so many people use their phones to get their news, and not just from traditional media sites, but also from social media. We must try to reach and engage people in many ways now. Gone are the days when people would just rely on getting their news from the newspaper or their favorite news channel.”

For meeting and event planners looking to engage journalists about their events, Cogan offers some good advice. 

“Meetings and events matter when they impact the community,” she says. “So, if you are pitching a journalist to cover an event, try to determine how this will impact people who live in that area. It might be an economic, environmental or cultural impact.”

The importance of family

Cogan graduated from Indiana University and grew up in Roselle, Ill. She met her husband, Kendall, while working in Louisville in 1994. They have twin boys, Colt and Cade. 

“When my twin boys were four years old, my husband and I made the decision to move from Miami (where I was an evening anchor at a television station) back to Louisville,” she says. “Louisville is where we met and it’s my husband’s hometown. He’s one of nine children, most of them still lived in Louisville and my mother was also a drive, instead of a plane flight, away. Since that time 10 years ago, my mother moved just down the street from us. It’s so wonderful seeing my boys grow up surrounded by so many family members. And it’s a lot of family members.”

Colt was born with a rare congenital heart defect, and the whole family is active in raising awareness and funds for organizations that assist children’s health. She serves on the board of Heuser Hearing & Language Academy and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Louisville, which mails free books to children. 

“The greatest joy when my boys were little was piling them on my lap and reading books to them,” Cogan says. “Reading to a child builds such strong connections between a parent and child. Reading is crucial to my job as I read from a teleprompter for three-and-a-half hours every day. I can’t go to sleep unless I read a book for a few minutes beforehand.”

“I think a good emcee must be able to think on their feet, react to changes and the mood of the room. A good sense of humor certainly doesn’t hurt either!”




Jason Hensel, Journalist

Jason Hensel is a freelance writer based in Dallas.