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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

A small group of dedicated residents sees the restoration of their church in Tarentum as a window to the potential rebirth of their once-booming community in suburban Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

The fifth annual Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference brings writers from across the country together to improve their craft.
Watch: Radio-Synced Highlights of Pens 7-0 Win in Game 5

Watch: Radio-Synced Highlights of Pens 7-0 Win in Game 5

Nothing beats listening to Mike Lange describe a Penguins' goal.
Break It Down: Byham Theater

Break It Down: Byham Theater

When you walk into the Sixth Street entryway of the Byham Theater, Downtown, you will see patches of green and black tile on the walls: These are originals from the early 20th century, says John Mumper, facilities manager at the Byham. The grand theater has plenty of history to go with its 100-plus years; let’s break it down.
 Wiz Khalifa to Headline Thrival 2017

Wiz Khalifa to Headline Thrival 2017

It’s the first time a Pittsburgh artist is headlining the annual innovation and music festival.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

Can the Restoration of a Church Lead to the Revival of a Town?

A small group of dedicated residents sees the restoration of their church in Tarentum as a window to the potential rebirth of their once-booming community in suburban Pittsburgh.
Remembering Henry Hillman

Remembering Henry Hillman

Reflecting on the impact of the businessman, civic visionary and philanthropist.
How David Freese is Helping to Keep Pirates' on Course

How David Freese is Helping to Keep Pirates' on Course

The Pirates’ infielder emerges as a team leader — and an offensive powerhouse.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference Helps Writers Tell Their Stories

The fifth annual Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference brings writers from across the country together to improve their craft.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Station's Hours Expand and Le Lyonnais Opens Downtown

Station's Hours Expand and Le Lyonnais Opens Downtown

Station, the excellent Bloomfield eatery, now offers lunch service. The Big Y Group opens a French bistro in the space previously occupied by Sonoma Grille.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

The third outpost of local distillery Wigle, found in the Omni William Penn Hotel, is an instant destination for cocktail fans.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Time Running Out for Penguins to Respond to Senators

Time Running Out for Penguins to Respond to Senators

The Penguins suddenly have a lot to sort out as they attempt to respond to another disappointing playoff loss.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The Alien Series Jumps the Shark with Covenant

The Alien Series Jumps the Shark with Covenant

Reviews of "Alien: Covenant" and "Everything, Everything," as well as local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Disney Touches: Two Couples Take on the Fairy Tale Wedding

Disney Touches: Two Couples Take on the Fairy Tale Wedding

See how these couples brought a little Disney magic into their wedding festivities

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Explore lavish homes and gardens with the West Allegheny Historic District’s annual Tour and Tasting, or go on the hunt for hidden treasure during The Great Mexican War Streets Yard Sale.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Explore Your Future with Point Park University

Explore Your Future with Point Park University

The university will host three summer workshops for high school students from July 17-20.

Comments