Investigative reporter brings ‘Survivor’ skills to NBC 5

Tammy Leitner

Tammy Leitner

Tammy Leitner, a Peabody Award-winning reporter who once appeared as a contestant on “Survivor,” is joining the expanded investigative unit at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 next week.

Her hiring will supplement a growing “NBC 5 Investigates” team that currently includes reporters Rob Stafford, Carol Marin, Lisa Parker, Phil Rogers, Dick Johnson, Marion Brooks and Chris Coffey. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, confirmed that Leitner will start Monday.

Leitner, 41, who most recently worked for CBS-owned WCBS-TV in New York, spent 11 years at KPHO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona, where multiple honors for her investigative work included the Peabody and Edward R. Murrow Awards for a series on American soldiers who buried Agent Orange on a U.S. military base in South Korea.

A native of San Diego, she graduated from UCLA and earned a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Before joining KPHO, she worked as a crime reporter for newspapers in New York and Arizona.

Leitner appeared on “Survivor: Marquesas,” the fourth season of the CBS reality series, which aired in 2002. According to her bio, she was “the 10th contestant voted off, lasting 30 [out of] 39 days and winning two individual immunity challenges.”