Iowa native and award-winning journalist Elias Johnson joined the Local 5 News team in November of 2014 and currently anchors Good Morning Iowa. Elias also covers in-depth investigative and features stories each week. He takes a hands-on approach to his work by producing, shooting and editing the pieces he covers.
Elias has received three Emmy awards from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Science—’Cover Charges’ won the regional award under the Entertainment/Arts category in 2015. He was nominated in four other categories the same year. In 2017 and 2018, Elias was awarded the Upper Midwest Emmy in the Video Journalist – No Time Limit category.
Elias began his career in Des Moines in 2007 as a reporter with KDSM FOX 17. In April of 2008, Elias was honored in Las Vegas at the annual Broadcast Educators Association Festival as the national news reporter of the year and by 2009, his writing produced an Emmy nomination.
In 2010, he was honored with a National Edward R. Murrow Award for a story of a troubled man who turned his life around by becoming a boxer while reporting for WHO-TV. He was also awarded a regional Murrow the same year for breaking news coverage of a river rescue in downtown Des Moines. His worked has been recognized by the Northwest Broadcasters Association, which selected him for an Eric Sevareid award for feature writing.
By late 2010, Elias moved south to work at KPHO CBS 5 in Phoenix, Arizona as a multimedia journalist. He also worked as a public information officer for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
Before coming home, Elias was a news anchor in Reno, Nevada where he won three Edward R. Murrow awards for Investigative Reporting, Feature Reporting and Hard News Reporting. Elias also won three AP Excellence in Journalism awards for Investigative Reporting and Videography for Hard News and Feature photography. In March 2014, he was recognized at the annual National Press Photographers Association conference in Norman, OK for shooting the Best Serious Video Feature as a shoot and edit participant. His feature series of Honor Flight Nevada’s trip to Washington D.C. was also nominated for an Emmy by the San Francisco chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences the same year.
Elias is a decorated graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where he earned a degree in broadcast journalism. While attending ASU, Elias won several national awards including the William Randolph Hearst National Championship for Television Broadcasting in San Francisco. He was also awarded Best Use of News Coverage at the annual festival for his story on the anniversary of the summer of love.
Sports were also an area of high interest. Elias was a member of the Sun Devils 2006 PAC-10 championship wrestling team at 141 pounds. He was a Maroon and Gold scholar athlete in 2006 carrying a 3.25 GPA. His former teammates Cain Velasquez, Ryan Bader and C.B. Dollaway are all now competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Prior to attending ASU, Elias spent one year at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, IA, where he competed in golf on a scholarship and walked-on the Triton wrestling team. He earned academic All-American honors in golf in 2003.
When he’s not on the desk or enterprising stories, Elias enjoys spending time with his wife, Niki and their two young children.