Even when Katie Ussin anchored the evening news in Dayton, she had her eye on Cleveland.
During her five years at WDTN, the Montana native had traveled north to cover the 2016 Republican National Convention and made frequent trips with her husband, Sam, to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and other attractions. So in June, the 33-year-old jumped at the chance to become co-anchor of News 5’s Good Morning Cleveland.
“I loved the spirit,” she says. “I felt like it was the place I wanted to be."
At 18, Ussin had never been to the East Coast when she chose to study fashion merchandising management at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “I didn’t know anybody,” she recalls. “But I was so excited to go.”
Her parents supported her choice. But looking back, she realizes it must have been difficult for them to let her go to college 2,000 miles away in a city with eight times the population of their entire state. “They were probably freaked out,” she says.
While Ussin loves fashion and what it says about our culture, she didn’t enjoy the merchandising part of the curriculum and its focus on inventory, stock lists and profit margins. “I liked talking about the clothes,” she says. “I wasn’t really too into numbers.” So after a year, she decided to transfer. “But it was the best year of my life.”
A talent for writing helped her decide on journalism at Arizona State University, where her older sister was studying speech therapy. “I was like, Oh, that’s my jam,” says Ussin. “I think I fell into my right spot.”
Ussin anchored the evening news for five years at WDTN in Dayton. But her transition to the Good Morning Cleveland desk has been smooth. She credits her co-anchor Terrence Lee for making it easy. “There’s something special about our connection,” she says. “It feels like he is a friend I’ve had for a really long time.”
Ussin has even hooked Lee on her favorite guilty pleasure: Sun-Maid Sour Strawberry Golden Raisins. “They’re like Sour Patch Kids but healthy,” she says.
An avid runner, Ussin completed the Chicago Marathon in 2016. “I am not a good runner at all,” she says. “I run because it is a challenge and it keeps you in shape.”
While work clothes and dresses dominate Ussin’s closet, she likes to play with bright, bold colors that are appealing to the eye but not too distracting. “The silhouette and the color are what I look for in clothes,” she says. “I love a good wrap dress. I’ll take one in every color, please, except black.”
During commercial breaks, Ussin occasionally sketches doodles about the weather, her co-host, quotes and more. “I have always been a doodler,” she says. “They’re just simple and fun.” You can find them on her Instagram account. “I share them because they make me smile, and I hope they do that for someone else too.”