Hometown: Evanston, Illinois
High School: Evanston Township High School (Go Wildkits)
College: University of Michigan (History 1990), Northwestern University (Broadcast Journalism, MSJ, 1991)
Other Journalism Experience: CBS News in London (1991-92), Reporter/Anchor @ WKBT-TV, La Crosse (1992-1994), State Capitol Reporter @ WMTV-TV, Madison (1994-1996), Reporter @ WITI-TV, Milwaukee (1996-1999), Political Reporter @ KUSA-TV, Denver (1999-2011), Wisconsin Public Television (2011-2013)
Started at WISC-TV on: March 20, 2013
Facebook: Adam Schrager
What is your favorite part about living in Madison?
The shoe slide at Vilas Park and the smiles it puts on my kids’ faces.
What is the biggest news story that you've covered?
The great part of this business is we meet extraordinary people who describe themselves as ordinary and it makes them even more extraordinary. It’s easy to think of Super Bowls, Final Fours, Presidential inaugurations, wildfires, blizzards and other tragic events as “big” stories and to society, I guess they are. However, to the thousands of individuals I’ve met in 20-plus years, I hope I’ve shared how “big” their stories are as well and done so with the same effort as you may assume the others would bring.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have three little kids. I have no spare time.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
What is the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?
My three older sisters actually like me after I pestered them to no end when we were growing up, especially when I went through the phase where I liked to clap really loudly.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Either Durango and Ouray in the southwest part of Colorado with their surrounding mountains and streams or Pleasant Lake, Wisconsin, just outside of East Troy.
Who is your hero and why?
My parents are my heroes. They were the first in their families to go to college and worked multiple jobs in order to make it happen. On their first date, they discussed how they did not want that fate for their children. They worked tirelessly to make sure my sisters and my biggest priorities were our studies. It’s a gift that will never be forgotten.
What was your favorite band when you were in high school?
Queen. Freddie Mercury still rules.
What is your favorite sport to play or watch?
Toss up between basketball, baseball and football.
If you could possess one superhuman power, what would it be?
I’d be able to create two extra arms when I came home from work so I could hug all the kids and my wife simultaneously.
What are you really bad at that you'd love to be great at?
Jumping. I had visions of becoming Michael Jordan collide with realities that I can’t leap over the Saturday paper. I guess I ought to put shooting on there as well. I couldn’t hit water if I fell out of a boat. Or hitting a curveball. I never could do that. Basically, my athletic abilities are pretty weak and I would love it if that weren’t the case.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
Traveling to China to bring home our youngest child.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
Who would you most like to interview alive or dead, and why?
Former Colorado Gov. Ralph Carr who was being talked about in the early 1940’s as being a possible future presidential candidate until he defends the Constitutional rights of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. The stand against ignorance and bigotry would cost him his career. I’m fascinated by people with character and conviction.
What is your favorite tradition around the holidays?
Simply spending time with our respective families. We moved back to the Midwest from Colorado to raise our kids around grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Seeing those relationships flourish is hands-down the best tradition.
What is your favorite song of all time?
Too many to pick just one. Here are a handful at the top of the list. “Let the Good Times Roll” by Louis Jordan, “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty, “In Your Eyes,” by Peter Gabriel, “Where is the Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas, and “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
“Casablanca,” “Glory,” and “The Princess Bride” are all up there. Inconceivable, you say? I do not think that means what you think it means.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
On a more serious note, there’s a Chinese proverb which reads, “The journey is the reward.” It’s a nice reminder to this parent to appreciate the present without dwelling too much on the past or future.
If you could relive any moment...what would that be?
There are two that I can share.
The first was my wedding day and as I saw my soon-to-be wife walk down the aisle, I have never been more certain of anything in my entire life.
The second moment I’d love to relive, if only because my memory of it is gone, is when I went to my first Chicago Cubs game with my grandfather who swore I only learned how to read because I wanted to check out the box score from the previous day’s game. I have visions of the grass never being greener, the sky never being bluer, and the sun never being brighter than it was that day at Wrigley Field, but in reality, I can’t remember it.
Where were you when September 11, 2001 occurred?
I was about to head in to work in Denver and my wife and I were watching The Today Show when the first tower was hit. In what felt like seconds later, I was rushing over to a Colorado military base that contained sensitive equipment and was on lockdown. Don’t know that I made it home for the next couple of days. In the aftermath, I met a number of victim advocates who traveled to New York to help and what they shared with those in need, those who had lost a loved one. They counseled them that they’d now have to find a new normal. That phrase has stuck with me since. A new normal. It remains poignant.