It all started with a white Bronco speeding down the 405. OJ Simpson was in the driver's seat, and millions - including Mike Valerio - were watching the high-speed chase. At least that's how Mike remembers it, he was only six.
Mike grew up in Los Angeles, and his love of breaking news began with the OJ Simpson murder case in 1994. Now, Mike is thrilled to be living his dream as a reporter, broadcasting compelling stories from the Carolina coast.
Before NewsChannel 12, Mike served as the chief researcher and investigator for the New York Times best-seller, "Betrayal, The Life & Lies of Bernie Madoff." The book delves into the past of Wall Street's most notorious criminal - Bernie Madoff - who epitomized an era of greed and mistrust. Valerio uncovered evidence of Madoff's financial fraud that extended as far back as the 1960s. Madoff's colossal scam was uncovered in late 2008, and ultimately robbed thousands of people of an estimated $60 billion.
Mike graduated from George Washington University in 2010, summa cum laude. He studied journalism and mass communication in the nation's capital, and worked as a reporter for GW's news station, GWTV. Mike covered stories across Washington, D.C., from rallies on the National Mall, to crime on the city streets.
While in college, Mike interned at New York City's leading news stations, WABC-TV, Eyewitness News and WCBS-TV, CBS 2 News. He covered politics with both station's city hall reporters - Dave Evans at WABC and Andrew Kirtzman at WCBS. Mike regularly spoke with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, asking the mayor for his take on the day's top stories.
In addition to conducting interviews and reporting for Eyewitness News, Mike worked with the political unit to coordinate the station's 2008 presidential convention coverage. While at CBS 2, Mike wrote, produced and anchored the 2007 WCBS Intern Newscast. He was hired back soon after to coordinate the station's coverage of President Bush's 2008 visit to the Middle East.
Mike's in-depth writing on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center earned him a GW Strasser Prize in 2007. Mike was also the winner of the Broadcast Education Association's 2009 Tanger Scholarship, awarded to one college student nation-wide for "superior academic performance and potential to be an outstanding contributor to the field of journalism."
Mike was born in Washington, D.C., and has lived in Detroit, Los Angeles, Houston, Albany and the New York City area before moving to North Carolina.
A devoted New York sports fan, Mike apologizes to no one for rooting for the Yankees and the Giants. He has the most fun hanging out at the beach, playing the saxophone, and practicing karate. Mike speaks French, Italian and Arabic, and hopes that you'll give him a shout out if you see him around town!
If you have a story idea for Mike, feel free to drop him a line.