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
  • Mother and Son Arrested After App Was Used to Hold Victim at Gunpoint

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  It’s a survival story that has police scratching their heads. “This has got all the elements of being something where someone winds up dead,” said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. On the first of September, Des Moines police documents show Ryan Jacobs of Clive responded to an online marketplace advertisement on the ‘letgo’ app to meet who he thought was the owner of a 2002  BMW at 1325 Mondamin Avenue in Des […]

  • Residents Along High Trestle Trail Bridge Say Turning Off Lights Was Never The Goal

        MADRID, Iowa — Iowa’s High Trestle Trail Bridge is iconic. “This is one of Iowa’s biggest tourist attractions right now,” said Tanner Scheuermann, Boone County Conservation Board Executive Director. It has a reputation that glows across the globe.  “We’ve had people from Australia, we’ve had people from India here, we’ve had people from New Zealand,” said Wesly Mathes, who lives near the trail. Beginning September 25th, the Boone County Conservation Board is slapping a new curfew on the […]

  • Iowan’s Heart Still Heavy After More Than Two Weeks of Hurricane Relief

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey was not easy to stomach. “I cry a lot, I feel bad for all of them. I just feel bad for all of them,” said Iowa Red Cross volunteer Brenda Kamish. For 16 days, Brenda provided relief support at a mega shelter in Dallas. “I was on concrete all day setting up 5,000 cots for people and feeding them with the Salvation Army,” she said. Texans who left their homes […]

  • Amidst ‘KKK’ Controversy, Creston’s QB Leading by Example

    CRESTON, Iowa  — The racially-charged photo involving multiple Creston Community High School football players has taken its toll on the community and their teammates. “I was friends with them for a while and I’ve been to their homes before.” Kylan Smallwood is the Creston High School football team’s starting quarterback and only African American athlete on the varsity team. “It was hard because everyone was asking me questions. Teachers were always coming up to me,” he said. Kylan said he […]

  • Miracle League All-Star Game Provides Victory For All

    DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s an all star game that athletes anticipate with enthusiasm. Fifteen year old Hanah Phillips said, “This is probably my favorite game to play with them. I don’t like to miss it.” Once a year, Des Moines police and firefighters partner with miracle league athletes.  “This is one of the highlights of our year, being able to participate with the athletes and we bring some superheroes out to intermingle with them,” said Police Chief Dana Wingert. […]

  • Community Disgusted After Creston Students Post KKK Picture

      CRESTON, Iowa — Students at Creston Community High School have seen racism before, just not necessarily close to home.  “It was really scary because that’s stuff you see in the history books,” said Austin Bloyd, a sophomore at Creston High School.  Early Wednesday morning school officials became aware of the picture on social media involving several Creston High School students, wearing white hoods similar to the Ku Klux Klan, holding what appears to be a confederate flag and a […]

  • Fallen West Des Moines Policeman Honored Through Education Scholarship

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  —   Former West Des Moines Officer Shawn Miller policed with a simple motto. His brother Blayne Miller recalled, “The means of a man’s character is what he does when he thinks no one is looking.” With Shawn’s sudden end of watch after an on-duty motorcycle crash in August of 2016, it’s his brother Blayne who has taken up that mentality. “He was my first best friend and a guy you look to and bounce stuff […]

  • 10 Years Since Same-Sex Couple Quickly Made History In Iowa

      DES MOINES, Iowa — While the 10 year anniversary of same-sex marriage in Iowa isn’t until April 3, 2019, two former Iowans, Sean and Tim McQuillan can pop the cork.  “For about twenty months that was the only legally recognized same-sex marriage in Iowa,” said Mark Stringer, current Executive Director of ACLU Iowa. On Thursday August 30,  2007, Polk County court judge Robert Hanson ruled it was unconstitutional and invalid to prohibit same-sex couples to marry.  “It was a […]

  • Diverse Religious Leaders Join Hands At Funeral For Johnston Teen

      GRANGER, Iowa — As the procession passed through the gates of Granger’s Es-Selam Cemetery, hundreds mourned the death of 13 year old Ali Hashim.  “His smile, his manner is charming. God has not forgotten Ali, God loves Ali,” said Zion Lutheran Church Pastor John Kline. His father, Karim Jawda helped the United States military in Iraq.  He then helped the family flee to America so his son could have a better life in Iowa.  “Ali, he meant so much. […]

  • With His Heart in Houston, ISU Football Player Hopes to Help Hometown

    AMES, Iowa  —  This Saturday, tens of thousands of football fans will be wearing cardinal and gold to show their love for the Iowa State Cyclones. Junior defensive back Brian Peavy will represent that passion on the field, but he’ll also have his heart in Houston. “Hardly home but always repping. I feel like this is as bright as it’s going to get to put my city on my back and let them know I’m cheering and rooting for them,” […]

  • Catholic School Principal’s Reinstatement In Hands of Des Moines Diocese

      PERRY, Iowa — The fight to keep a beloved catholic school principal began organically through petition.  “The goal was to show the diocese how upset we are with the decision that was handed down to us,” said petition organizer Andrea Tunink a parent of three children at St. Patrick Catholic School in Perry.  Now the 640 signature petition, for a school with under 150 students, has arrived.  It’s sending loud cries of disappointment from Perry to Bishop Richard Pates […]

  • Retaliation Has Become College Graduation For Friends of Des Moines Homicide Victims

      DES MOINES, Iowa — As the homicide count approaches record highs in Des Moines, Des Moines North graduate Russhaun Johnson has lived through it.  “Violence and heartbreak and death just floods the city.” Tuesday night he and fellow North grad Deontae Holt learned their friend nineteen year old Noah Campbell was shot to death.  “It was really hard for me because he was literally the first friend I had in my life,” said Johnson.  Deontae added, “I was shocked.  I […]