Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese adds former news anchor Jennifer Antkowiak to staff | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese adds former news anchor Jennifer Antkowiak to staff

Deb Erdley
Jennifer Antkowiak, a former KDKA morning news anchor shown on set with Rick Dayton in this 2013 file photo, has been hired by the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese. Jennifer Antkowiak, a former KDKA morning news anchor shown on set with Rick Dayton in this 2013 file photo, has been hired by the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese.

Former KDKA news anchor Jennifer Antkowiak will be the new face of community relations for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese as it works to move forward from last year’s scathing grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

Bishop David Zubik announced Thursday that Antkowiak has been hired to fill the newly created position of executive director for community relations. She starts on Nov. 1.

“She will oversee existing communications operations, with a focus on strategy and personal engagement with parishioners and the public,” Zubik said.

The diocese, which has eliminated positions and consolidated parishes due to continuing declines in attendance and collections, is underwriting Antkowiak’s post through “a new endowment established by donors who wanted to strengthen the public presence of the Church through communication of the core mission of the Diocese of Pittsburgh,” Zubik said in a statement.

Antkowiak, a mother of five and active Catholic, was a reporter and anchor on KDKA television news for 23 years. The Oil City native also hosted the morning talk show “Pittsburgh Today Live.” She left the station in 2006 before coming back, leaving again in 2016. She said she is excited about her new position.

“My single focus is to enhance diocesan communications with a goal of welcoming more people to Mass, so that they can experience the power and peace that comes with receiving the Holy Eucharist. I’m also looking forward to visiting churches throughout our diocese, and sharing stories of faith in action,” she said in a statement announcing her appointment.

The Greensburg Catholic Diocese in 2018 hired former WTAE television news reporter Jennifer Miele to serve in a similar role. She serves as chief communications officer and managing director of evangelization.

Antkowiak has taught business and communications courses at Saint Vincent College in Unity and worked as a wellness advocate. She also serves on advisory committees for the Pittsburgh diocese, including the Church Healing Commission, Zubik said.

The diocese also announced the appointment of retired banking executive David R. Misch as its next chief financial officer.

Misch had a 35-year career in banking with Mellon Bank and BNY Mellon that included running banks in Los Angeles and Miami for BNY Mellon and serving as executive director of wealth management. He later served as CEO of the Private Bank of California in Los Angeles and then of Community Bank in Pasadena before retiring to Pittsburgh.

He will work alongside current CFO Bruno Bonacchi before assuming full responsibility on January 1, when Bonacchi retires, Zubick said.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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