NewsChannel5’s Danita Harris is currently anchoring Live on Five and NewsChannel5 at 11pm. Danita strongly believes in community service. Her favorite quote is, “To whom much is given, much is required.”
In 1998, Danita came to NewsChannel5 and became a part of the “Morning Exchange,” where she did live feature reports. She was also seen on “Good Morning Cleveland” doing her Danita’s Dish segments, which gave viewers the latest scoop on what was happening in Hollywood.
After two years, Danita moved to WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., where she anchored the news on weekends and did entertainment reports during the week.But Danita’s love for the Cleveland area quickly brought her back to WEWS in September of 2000, when she stepped into the anchor position for “Good Morning Cleveland” and NewsChannel5 at noon. In 2004, Danita received an Emmy when Good Morning Cleveland won best Morning Newscast.
After anchoring the morning show for six years, Harris was promoted to the evening anchor positions she holds today. Danita was recently recognized for her work by being inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2010 Danita was honored to receive the prestigious “Woman of Vision” award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women for her commitment to community service.The National Council of Negro Women recognized her as one of the outstanding women in clergy in Cuyahoga County in 2011.
Danita received national recognition for her work in the community when she was honored by the organization Black Women in Sisterhood for Action at the “Salute to Distinguished Black Women 2006” gala in Washington D.C.
Danita is the former host of Academic Challenge, which airs at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. “Academic Challenge” is one of the longest running locally produced shows in television history. She is the first woman and the first African-American to host the program.
Before relocating to the Cleveland area, Harris, a Chester, Pa., native, worked at Black Entertainment Television, a national cable network located in Washington, D.C. During her tenure there, she worked behind the scenes as a producer in several areas; news, sports, music and entertainment.
She’s a graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, where she majored in broadcast journalism. Danita loves what she does because she loves people. She believes she is blessed to get paid for doing something that she truly enjoys. In her spare time she loves listening to jazz and gospel music.
When she has free time, she volunteers as a board advisor to the Girls Club of Ohio. The group promotes positive self-esteem, health and fitness and community service among young girls. In 2008, she founded a mentoringprogram called Sisters of Success at her church to inspire and empower young women to reach their full potential and work hard toward achieving their dreams. She was previously a columnist for Blessings Magazine as well as Connection, The Good News Magazine, a Christian publication. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc., National Council of Negro Women, Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40/40 Club, The Basheer Jones Foundation board, a board member of Cleveland Job Corps Center Industry Council and a board member of Bellflower Center for Prevention of Child Abuse. Harris served as a guest host on ABC’s “The View,” and has also interviewed talk show host Oprah Winfrey. She is married to Brad Pratt who also shares her passion for people. The two of them have started a church called “Fresh Wind Ministry” to help encourage people to live spiritually healthy lives.
Danita and her husband are proud parents of their son Chase. They also have two spoiled dogs Justin and Bastille.