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
  • Police Use Class Schedule to Find Home of Teenager With Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  —  As the call of shots fired at Valley West Mall reached the West Des Moines Police Department, they prepared for the worst. “Of course an immediate response, and any time we have a shooting within a structure like that we send everyone.  We utilize some of our different techniques,” said Sergeant Adam Porath. The shooting occurred on Thursday around 6 p.m. inside Younkers, on the top floor near the Polo department. Witnesses say they heard […]

  • Pella Tribute Turns State Title Game Into Much More Than Football

      CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Waves of grey towels , not Pella Dutch green, spiraling through the UNI-Dome.  “The color grey is the universal color for asthma awareness,” said Pella High School Student Body Vice President and cheerleader Ava Rowe. As Pella fans cheered on their Dutch against top ranked Xavier in the Class 3A championship their hearts and hands revolved around football and family.  “In hopes that people see that and remember the life of Caiden Knox who we […]

  • Ticket Office Prepares For Hamilton Hysteria In Des Moines Friday

      DES MOINES, Iowa — Much like the scenes in cities like Chicago and St. Louis when tickets first became available to the general public, Des Moines can expect long lines and overnight campers hoping to not throw away their shot at tickets “We’ve had some questions about it.  We are not sure what to expect, so we will see,”  said, Denise Smithson-Green, the Director of Ticketing.  She says you can expect her staff to be ready when tickets go […]

  • Depressed Cake Shop Serving Up Sweets and Mental Health Awareness

    DES MOINES, Iowa — The message may seem simple: “Where there is cake, there’s hope,” said Nancy Bobo. The Vice President of Orchard Place, a child mental health organization, says it is much more than satisfying your fix for sweets. “Its purpose is to raise awareness of mental health from local organizations across the globe,” she said. Its called a Depressed Cake Pop-Up Shop.  Hy-Vee Sweet Shop manager Maddie Endicott said, “You put something people represent as a good thing, […]

  • Owner Recounts Witnessing Pit Bulls Attack, Kill Family’s Poodle

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Brenda Villegas was still shaking as she tried to recall how the family’s four-year-old poodle Curly was killed by the jaws of two neighborhood pit bulls the day before.  “It was really sad because I had to see everything.  He was suffering and dying and I couldn’t do anything,” Villegas said. Des Moines Chief Humane Officer Sgt. James Butler says the attack happened Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at 1711 11th street.  He said, “The two attacking […]

  • Language Barrier Leads To Miscommunication In Marshalltown Carbon Monoxide Incident

      MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Marshalltown Fire Chief David Rierson admits he made a mistake Monday.  “Actually a little bit embarrassed,” he said.  As the community had been mourning what they believed to be a death declared by Rierson after a carbon monoxide incident Sunday , they found out Wednesday all fifteen residents inside the church on East South Street were alive and one did not die.  Rierson said, “I am absolutely relieved nobody died in that incident.”  No deaths, but […]

  • The Life of Merle Hay and its Importance 100 Years Later

    DES MOINES, Iowa  —  It’s a simple question. “For a lot of visitors that come to the museum, I ask them, ‘who is Merle Hay?'” Iowa Gold Star Military Museum Curator Michael Vogt says the question comes with an all too common response these days.  “Most common response is, well he’s the guy who built the mall.” Vogt believes this is why remembering Merle Hay, the Glidden native, is essential. “Merle Hay’s story begins in May of 1917, when the […]

  • Demand Leads To Plans For Iowa’s Second Public Montessori School

      DES MOINES, Iowa — As the bell rings to end the school day at Brubaker Elementary in northeast Des Moines, around 650 children pouring out of classrooms highlights one thing.  “We’re maximizing the use of our spaces.  We are a full school and we’ve continued to grow,” said Principal Mark Adams.  On Thursday, Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Tom Ahart revealed help is on the way.  “We are getting to the point where unless we want to make our […]

  • Friends Not Surprised Iowa’s Tony Watson Joined Elite World Series Company

      DES MOINES, Iowa — For most it is a dream come true.  “Getting drafted, making it to the big leagues, making the all-star game, now he’s in the World Series,” said Scott Krava, a longtime friend of Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Tony Watson. It is a proud moment for Iowans each time the former Dallas Center-Grimes star has taken the mound in this years World Series but to those who have grown up alongside Watson as fellow Mustangs, […]

  • Election Officials Eyeing Larger Voter Turnouts for Some Metro Cities

    DES MOINES, IOWA  —  With city elections around the corner, Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says November 7th could bring a boom in votes for metro cities like Windsor Heights. “In Windsor Heights having three people run for mayor and nine people run for three seats on city council, there are a couple hot issues out there, whether it’s sidewalks or speed cameras,” Fitzgerald said. Mayor races in Altoona, Bondurant, Clive, Elkhart, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill, Sheldahl, Urbandale, and […]

  • Parents of Child Found Dead in Swing Had History of Using Meth

    ALTA VISTA, Iowa  —  As two Alta Vista parents remain behind bars, charged with the August murder of their four-month-old son Sterling Koehn, health care providers in Iowa are left wondering what more could have been done. “I think figuring out where those opportunities are and using that tug on out heartstrings to make sure that we prevent it from happening again,” said KellyAnn Light-McGroary, who serves as the Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare Community Plan of Iowa. She says […]

  • World Series Pitcher Not Turning His Back On Iowa Roots

      DALLAS CENTER, Iowa —  The brand new custom-built baseball scoreboard in Dallas Center-Grimes is more than meets the eye.  “Pretty fitting how it sets now with his name is on the scoreboard,” said DC-G baseball coach Byron Peyton.  It’s a  description Peyton uses to describe DC-G alum and current Los Angeles Dodger Tony Watson.  “The times I was around him you just felt this guy is going to stand on a major league mound someday,” said Peyton. Since Watson’s graduation […]