Kelly Frey

News desk veteran and mother stays anchored through life’s challenges.



WTAE Channel 4 Action News anchor Kelly Frey fell in love with the city in the 1990s as an undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh. After several years down South, she was thrilled when her husband, Jason Luhn, who is currently a Major in the Air National Guard, was re-stationed in Dover, Del. That brought the couple back to the ‘Burgh. Jason was able to officially move here a few years later after joining the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis piloting the KC-135 Stratotanker. For more than a decade, Frey’s smile has greeted TV viewers on weekday mornings. 

“It’s such a gorgeous city, and there’s so much to it,” says the West Chester, Pa., native of her adopted home. “It’s a wonderful city, and yet it’s a tough city. There are gritty parts and beautiful parts and incredible views. I love it.”

Last summer, Frey shared difficult news with her fellow Pittsburghers: She was pregnant, and her son’s prognosis seemed dire. At only 13 weeks, among other complications, doctors saw a large quantity of fluid collecting where the brain tissue should be. The diagnosis was terminal. But his birth in September was nothing short of a miracle—Bennett was stronger and healthier than expected. “He’s the happiest little guy, and we are going to do whatever we can do to make life as sweet and full for him as we can,” Frey says. “I still look at him and cry sometimes when I hold him because I can’t believe we have him.”

Bennett smiles and talks lots of baby talk, but some days are tough. He occasionally needs hospitalization and is set to attend the medical day-care center at the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh. Despite the challenges, you can hear the joy when Frey talks about motherhood.


Q+A

PM: When you have free time, how do you spend it?
K.F.: If I do anything right now, it’s sleep!

PM: What has it been like juggling parenthood and career?
K.F.: Jason is able to stay home with Bennett in the morning, and then I usually race home. My schedule is fairly set, which helps.

PM: How do you stay plugged in away from work?
K.F.: If it’s local-news time, I’m watching local news on TV. But then also my Blackberry is basically always with me.

PM: Have you heard from many people since Bennett’s birth?

K.F.: This community is just incredible. There have been lots of e-mails, phone calls and letters. I’ve read every single one.

PM: How is Bennett?
K.F.: He’s more than 18 pounds already and wearing 9-months-size clothes at 5 months! It’s going to be a journey with him, but he’s an amazing little boy. I know this sounds odd, but even at 5 months old you can see the determination in him.

PM: Your strength through all of this has inspired many people. What has inspired you?
K.F.: So many people that we’ve met along the way at Children’s Hospital—parents who have three children at home and then one child in the hospital with all kinds of the special needs. I don’t know how you juggle that and give them all the attention they need. But these parents do.

PM: Pittsburgh has great medical facilities. Has that helped?
K.F.: Children’s Hospital is just one of the best of the best—such incredible doctors. And then the Children’s Home—there’s not another facility like that around the country. You don’t realize these places are there until you need them.

PM: Any parenting advice for our readers?
K.F.: With Blackberries and TV, you can just get overloaded, and you don’t even realize you’re doing it. But you need to make an effort to invest yourself in the here and now, in the present, because children deserve that.

PM: Any plans for the coming months?
K.F.: I can’t wait to go to a baseball game with Bennett. I was thinking of Pitt football games in the fall, too. And for me, I want to do Lawrenceville. I’ve been to many of the shops at different times, but I’ve never spent a whole Saturday just going to one after another.

PM: Your favorite treat?
K.F.: Mad Mex. You can’t miss the Pick-A-Dip and the Super Mad Mex Burrito.

Watch Kelly Frey weekday mornings from 5-7 a.m. on WTAE Channel 4 Action News;
pittsburghchannel.com.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine consulted dozens of power brokers and behind-the-scene players to determine and rank the 50 individuals who, in Pittsburgh, make things happen.
15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

According to the region's behind-the-scene players, these individuals are some of the city's rising stars.
Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Entering into the final weeks of the 2015 regular season, pitcher Gerrit Cole has emerged as the Pirates’ ace.
At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik strike again with täkō, their taco-centric downtown eatery with an extensive tequila selection.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Commuting Toll: How Much Do We Waste Stuck in Traffic?

Commuting Toll: How Much Do We Waste Stuck in Traffic?

Pittsburgh gridlock not only frays nerves — it dings the wallet.
Breeding Success: Alpaca Farming is Booming in Western Pa.

Breeding Success: Alpaca Farming is Booming in Western Pa.

Our rolling hills are good for more than vegetable gardens and chicken coops. Dozens of alpaca farms are located in the region.
Head North to Find the Comfiest Place in the Pittsburgh Area

Head North to Find the Comfiest Place in the Pittsburgh Area

Cranberry Township was the only western Pa. area mentioned in a nationwide list of most comfortable cities.
'We Are Family Matters' Pirates Mashup is Brilliant

'We Are Family Matters' Pirates Mashup is Brilliant

Pittsburgh viral video genius Benstonium creates another winner.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine consulted dozens of power brokers and behind-the-scene players to determine and rank the 50 individuals who, in Pittsburgh, make things happen.
15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

According to the region's behind-the-scene players, these individuals are some of the city's rising stars.
Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Entering into the final weeks of the 2015 regular season, pitcher Gerrit Cole has emerged as the Pirates’ ace.
At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik strike again with täkō, their taco-centric downtown eatery with an extensive tequila selection.
 A Sign That This Time, It's Good to Part with the Past

A Sign That This Time, It's Good to Part with the Past

Pitt Girl explains her change of heart on what should be done with the large, decaying billboard on Mount Washington.
Oh, the Humanities - Can They be Saved?

Oh, the Humanities - Can They be Saved?

Locally and nationally, college and university students are flocking to programs they perceive to be pathways to jobs while they forego studies of languages, history, art and philosophy. But at what cost?
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module