Personality Test: Joe Arena, WPXI-TV anchor |

Personality Test: Joe Arena, WPXI-TV anchor

Joe Arena
Poster for 'National Lampoon's Vacation'
Laser tag gun
Book cover for Byron Nelson's 'How I Played the Game'
animal crackers
Coke Zero can
Chef hat

Joe Arena got what he thinks was his best career advice from a good source: Tom Brokaw.

“He said I had to go out to the middle of nowhere, start finding stories and doing the work out there,” Arena says about his move from being an assistant on “NBC Nightly News” to anchorman in Bluefield, W.Va.

It was the beginning of the on-air career of the morning-news anchor on WPXI-TV. Before the move to West Virginia, the Syracuse University graduate and New York City native had worked in production on MSNBC, CNN, the Don Imus show and with Brokaw.

But he wanted to do more than stay behind the scenes, so he took Brokaw’s advice. It was a move that led him to Albany, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Shreveport, La.; Buffalo; and now Pittsburgh.

He says he has enjoyed the move to Pittsburgh because of its friendly residents and because the city is a little more lively than Buffalo.

He and his wife, Mary Clare, live Downtown with their daughter Jane and are expecting another child.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Adam Sandler. Seems like a family guy from what I’ve read, and his movies have been making me laugh for years.

Childhood hero:

My mom. Even when I was young, I realized how important she was in my life. She was the one constant I had in my life growing up. Always there for me, something I’m striving to be for my daughter.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

Go-Gos —I’m a big ’80’s music fan

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

Telepathy. Life would be so much easier.

I can’t live without my: iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop?

Cellphone. It’s the new wallet.

My most embarrassing junk food:

Cake Pops

My favorite reality show:

“Top Chef”

Favorite brunch food:

Eggs Benedict. Extra Hollandaise!

Top thing on my ‘Bucket List’:

Drive from coast to coast Chevy Chase-“Vacation” style!

In five years, I’d like to:

Run a full marathon

Star I’d like to dance with on “Dancing with the Stars”:

The star with the toughest set of toes

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

Pirates. Baseball is the only game where the defense controls the ball and you can’t take a knee to burn out the clock.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Andrew McCutchen

What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:

Animal crackers

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

The food! Kind of makes the previous goal more of a dream.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

The dining room table with my daughter, Jane

Something I would do over if I could:

Talked to my grandparents more

Three people I’d love to have dinner with:

My grandfather (I would be a grown-up, of course) Kevin James, Vince Vaughn

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Turkey club. Extra mayo, and bacon. Hold the lettuce.

The oldest thing in my refrigerator is:

Pickles of some sort

One word my mother would use to describe me:


Celebrity crush:

Alison Sweeney

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A Major League Baseball player

Exercise I hate most:

Lifting weights, which is why I don’t

I’m deathly afraid of:


Favorite guilty pleasure:

Coke Zero

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I’m a pincher, just like my dad. My wife can’t stand it, but I pinch her anyway.

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Blues Traveler in Syracuse, N.Y.

The best concert I’ve ever seen:

Jimmy Buffett at Camden Waterfront

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

Laser Tag. I’d be playing it right now if I still had it, and I could find a friend to play with me.

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

“Columbo,” and I’ve done this many times. You know who did it, but it’s so cool watching Lt. Columbo figure it out.

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Point State Park. It’s a state park in the middle of a city!

Saturday mornings, you’ll find me:

Somewhere in the living room with the family

Best new gadget I’ve tried recently:


The worst advice I ever received:

Guidance counselor telling me to focus on another career path other than becoming a reporter

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Peggy Finnegan

The movie that always makes me cry:

Tie between “Field of Dreams” and “My Life.” Michael Keaton is great in “My Life.”

My most treasured fashion accessory is:


If I wasn’t a musician/actor/dancer/artist, I’d be:

A chef

The last book I read:

Byron Nelson: “How I Played the Game”

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

“The Patriot”

My most memorable fashion mistake:

Once had to wear a girlfriend’s stockings for socks at a wedding

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

Baseball player

My favorite “bad” movie is:

Any “Friday the 13th” after Part 4

My first job:

Delivery boy for video rental store in midtown Manhattan

My worst job:

Door-to-door salesman. Could never close!

My favorite cable channel:


The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

“Shout!” by the Isley Brothers. It’s a group song, so there’s no pressure remember any particular dance move.

Life would be better without:


If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that I:

Helped Tom Brokaw log interviews for his first book, “The Greatest Generation”

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