Taj Simmons

About Taj:

Taj Simmons joined WHO 13 News in April 2021 as a multimedia journalist. Before arriving in Des Moines, Taj spent four years in the Southeast United States. He reported with WSLS in Roanoke, Virginia from 2019 to 2021 and with Spectrum News North Carolina in Raleigh from 2016 to 2018.

Taj had experience covering Iowa even before his first day at WHO 13. His first reporting job was with KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota, where he often covered stories in Mason City and Decorah.

Taj is from Oakland, California and graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a double major in Journalism and Media Cinema Studies. If you have any story ideas, you can e-mail Taj at taj.simmons@whotv.com.

13 Fascinating Facts About Taj:

  • My interest in news started when I read newspaper headlines to my mom every morning in elementary school.
  • That interest intensified when I witnessed the start of the Great Recession in 2008. I was on vacation in New York City the day Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and watched as employees left its building with their belongings.
  • I play the bass guitar, though admittedly not very well. I’m learning it again, thanks to an acoustic bass I recently found in a pawn shop.
  • I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, just down the street from where all of Ghirardelli’s chocolate is made. There’s nothing quite like the smell of chocolate in the air.
  • I’m an enthusiastic fan of my hometown teams, the Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors. I’m looking for a new NFL team since the Raiders moved from Oakland, and I’m open to suggestions!
  • I have a big interest in baseball stadiums; I’ve visited more than half of Major League Baseball’s parks so far!
  • College radio is a big part of my story: I both hosted a late-night music show and did play-by-play for basketball and softball games for my on-campus radio station.
  • I write left-handed, but I do virtually everything else right-handed.
  • I love finding music from the ’70s and ’80s, the more obscure the better. My vinyl collection has become pretty heavy over the years!
  • I’ve somehow never shopped on Amazon, except for buying a book or two when I was in college.
  • I’m a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first Black fraternity.
  • I studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia while in college, and became a big fan of Aussie Rules football in the process. Imagine American football, but with fewer pads and more chaos.
  • I am a seafood fanatic and will try just about any type of fish. On the contrary, I absolutely despise pickles.

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