Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Justin has always had an affinity for communities with a diverse population. The opportunity to be chosen as a captain and lead his collegiate football team at the University of Northern Iowa to a national championship game provided him with invaluable experience in leadership and teamwork, while having the chance to play in the NFL added an ability to perform under some of the most stressful and high pressure situations.

His enthusiasm for reporting began when he was a sports intern at WCCO in Minneapolis. During that time, he was able to witness a large metropolitan newsroom in action. Seeing important issues resolved within the community pushed him to switch from sports to news.

Justin joined WHO-TV in July of 2015. In 2016 his detailed coverage of uncontrolled intersections won an Eric Sevareid award for general reporting from the Midwest Broadcast Journalist Association.

Before joining WHO-TV, Justin was a weekend evening news anchor and reporter at WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas. During his four year stop in the Capital City he contributed live reports in three Heartland Emmy Award winning newscasts, including one where he provided live reports for 11 hours after two police officers were shot and killed. He has also won a Kansas Association of Broadcasters award for in-depth reporting.

Justin considers it an honor to work in a place with a reputation for delivering in-depth and award winning news in the Des Moines area. He is always looking for a good story idea. Email him or just say hi at Justin.Surrency@whotv.com

13 Facts about Justin
1. I was a co-captain on the 2005 National runner-up Northern Iowa Football team.
2. My favorite song is When doves cry by Prince, who I’ve seen twice in concert.
3. I have played professional football with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
4. In Topeka, Kansas I received an honor from the Topeka Police Department for reporting.
5. In 2015 I was inducted into my high school athletic hall of fame. Go Concordia Academy Beacons!
6. My favorite food is Lasagna -I am the only one in my family who dislikes watermelon…Yuck.
7. I have a very cute Yorkie-Australian Shepherd mixed dog named Cooper.
8. Every Christmas I have to listen to “Santa Claus is coming to town “by the Jackson 5.
9. My mom is a strong survivor of breast cancer. Go mom!
10. When I worked in Topeka, Kansas I covered Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
11. I won two bicycles growing up and both were stolen from me.
12. I grew up in St.Paul, Minnesota and love a good cheesy hot dish.
13. My guilty pleasure would have to be Haribo Gummy Bears.


Recent Articles
  • Fans Turn Up Excitement for Long-Awaited Buccaneers Playoff Hockey Game

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  May of 2007 was the last time the Bucs laced up their skates at Buccaneer Arena for a playoff hockey game. Now, the wait is over. “Well I’m glad they got it back. I was afraid it wasn’t going to happen,” said long time Des Moines Buccaneers fan Karen Withan. Playoff hockey is back in Des Moines for the first time since now 12-year-old Ethan Dirksen was just two. “Wow, that’s a pretty long time,” he said. Fans […]

  • Metro Teen’s Suicide Leads To Lifesaving Gifts and Warnings

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  His family referred to him as a modern day renaissance man. “Drew not only made an impact on the field, he made an impact at school, church, and in our community,” said Dan Lienemann. In 2016, 18-year-old Waukee High School senior Drew Lienemann, Dan’s son, appeared to have it all, but inside life was too much and he died by suicide. “To have a child die, regardless of how it happens, is devastating,” said Dan. Over a year […]

  • Event Celebrating Greek Life at ISU Leads To Racial Slurs

    AMES, Iowa — College campuses are often rich with tradition and diversity and it`s something freshmen Guadalupe Iguanero and Lexi Randau enjoy at Iowa State University.  “It’s great that it is a diverse campus and gives a little culture to everything that we do,” said Lexi, who plans to major in Animal Science. However after a celebratory event Sunday April 2 called Vespers which honors the accomplishments within the greek community, an ugly side of campus life came to light.  Guadalupe […]

  • Des Moines Police Shift Graduation Dates To Bulk Summer Patrols

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Dozens of kids playing soccer, enjoying smiles and laughter at Evelyn K. Davis park in Des Moines. It was the way Jermaine Woods remembers his neighborhood as young child.  “It means a lot to me,” he said. “It feels good seeing everybody using the park.” Too often, the fun has been exchanged for gunfire.  Stephon James, another man who grew up in the area said, “It’s bad to hear about that stuff happening here and for people to have that […]

  • City of Des Moines Silent on Johnny Mac’s Good Neighbor Agreement Despite Deadly Shooting

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The city of Des Moines appears to be cracking down on bars that have had run-ins with violent acts. Early New Year’s day, 18-year-old Frederico Thompson Jr. was shot and killed outside of the 508 Bar along Indianola road. Two days later, the bar’s liquor license was suspended. Just last weekend at 2500 MLK Parkway outside of J&J Pizza, five people were shot and over 40 shell casings found. The restaurant and bar’s liquor license was suspended the […]

  • Legislative Bill Creating Tension Between DOT and ISP Departments

      DES MOINES, Iowa — For over eighty years, the Iowa State Patrol has been synonymous with road safety.  “Pre-1960 there was a poll in the state of Iowa that asked who do you hold in the highest esteem?  Number one was God and number two was the Iowa highway patrol., said Republican Representative Gary Worthan of Storm Lake.  The Iowa State Patrol is revered across the state but a bill, which just passed the Senate on Tuesday with overwhelming support, is threatening to some.  […]

  • Des Moines Git-N-Go Robberies Become an Alarming Trend

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Instead of being seen as a convenience store, Des Moines’ Git-N-Go locations have become a convenient target for robberies. “We think that several, if not all of them, are connected, and we are hoping to put an end to this before somebody gets hurt,” said Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek. Since February 25th, nine Des Moines area Git-N-Go stores have been robbed by a man who is disguising himself on occasion. Parizek said, “The suspect hasn’t displayed […]

  • Governor Branstad Signs Workers’ Compensation Bill Into Law

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Terry Branstad made it official shortly before 5:00 pm and it is yet another bill that has strongly split party lines this legislative session. The bill essentially decreases the pay attorney’s can collect in legal fees for workers’ compensation cases. It reduces the fines employers are forced to pay when they are late paying disability benefits.  In total it will decrease the amount the state is forced to pay to the workers’ compensation fund by […]

  • 20 Week Abortion Bill Passes House Committee

      DES MOINES, Iowa — It came as no surprise that all eleven yes votes were from republicans but the eight no votes did include one GOP member.  Representative Tom Moore.  It became clear during the two and a half hour debate that republicans saw the fetal heartbeat bill as something that would get caught up in the court system but the majority felt a twenty week abortion bill was something easier to pass through committee. Just a day ago everyone thought GOP house leaders in the committee […]

  • Iowa DOT Says Bill Giving Them Authority To Ticket Speeding Drivers Isn’t Strong Enough

    ANKENY  —  As the Iowa Department of Transportation fights a lawsuit questioning its authority to issue more than 20,000 tickets in a two-year span, a new bill passed the House that would give Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers specific power to ticket drivers. Many would think the recent passing was a victory. “I would say that the House efforts, while they are appreciated, they had some limitations that are problematic for us,” said Mark Lowe, Director of the Iowa DOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. […]

  • Weed World Van Under Investigation in Iowa after Breaking Down

    DES MOINES — You name it, and the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement agency has probably dealt with it. “You see a lot of different things on the side of the road,” said MVE Chief Dave Lorenzen. A few weeks ago, MVE officials could not reveal a date, a stalled vehicle along I-80 East near the Redfield exit and just west of Des Moines threw them for a loop. “Obviously, you don’t see many vehicles like that driving down the […]

  • Small School Teacher Wins Big Award For Innovative Teaching In Science

    BUSSEY, Iowa — Drawers that don`t open because of keys lost decades ago, “This one is locked,” said Twin Cedars High School Science teacher Mauree Haage.  Others hanging on by duct tape and science lab stations beyond repair after five decades. First year Twin Cedars science teacher Mauree Haage knew she was in for a challenge from the start.  “Our sinks don`t drain very well and so they back up easily. I had a couple of boys with a plunger plunging our sinks,” said […]