Dawn Stensland: From Fox anchor to family anchor

Dawn Stensland and Larry Mendte at home in Chestnut Hill with their sons David (left), 5, and Michael, 7. The kids are dressed up as ninjas, ready for a local Halloween party. October 30, 2011 ( SARAH J. GLOVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ) EDITOR'S NOTE: DAWN-A Regina Media writes "Chillin Wit"
Dawn Stensland and Larry Mendte at home in Chestnut Hill with their sons David (left), 5, and Michael, 7. The kids are dressed up as ninjas, ready for a local Halloween party. October 30, 2011 ( SARAH J. GLOVER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ) EDITOR'S NOTE: DAWN-A Regina Media writes "Chillin Wit"
Posted: October 31, 2011

"Chillin' Wit . . ." is a regular feature of the Daily News spotlighting a name in the news away from the job.

THE DOG VOICE. Everyone loves a good dog voice. Even former Fox 29 anchor Dawn Stensland.

Stensland, 47, is using a ShamWow towel to wipe yesterday's grimy slush from her pooch, Buddy II, and she speaks on his behalf:

"I got women. I love the ladies. I love the ShamWow. This is the life."

It's a charming interpretation executed by Stensland, whose alter ego sounds as if he's just ingested a can of Red Bull.

Sometimes, she says, when "Buddy" speaks to son Michael, 7, then reverts to Dawn, the boy will say: "I want 'Buddy' back."

Mom life is Stensland's life right now, and she celebrates it. She has two boys - David, 5, is the other - takes care of Buddy II, a rescued white German shepherd; and is married to Larry Mendte, a former anchor at CBS 3 and now a commentator with WPIX-TV in New York.

Stensland runs a household, cooks healthy meals, is in charge of the Chestnut Hill home's rebuilding efforts following this summer's wave of natural disasters and has lost 35 pounds since Fox 29 decided in October 2009 not to renew her contract.

"Are you looking at my crooked pictures?" Stensland asks, straightening two framed portraits in the kitchen. "This is really easy. You can get them done at Kodak-dot-com or something."

Stensland is like a mini-encyclopedia regarding most objects around her house. But the fact is that Mendte - whose WPIX commentaries will begin airing today on WPHL17 in Philly - had the portraits done at snapfish.com.

One is a series of iPhone shots taken by David of David, titled "David Alone with Mommy's iPhone, June 2011. 4 1/2 years." The other is "The Many Faces of Michael, Mother's Day 2011."

It's sad, she says, that society fails to appreciate full-time moms.

"I saw a call-out-to-vote for a woman who makes a difference. Nobody votes for a mother involved in the community raising their children," says Stensland.

"It's OK to do that, and you are making a huge difference in your community doing that."

- Regina Medina


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