Featured NEWS

From wildfires to Olympics 

Scripps Ranch resident Steven Luke is a morning news anchor on NBC 7 San Diego. (courtesy of Steven Luke/NBC 7)

From wildfires to Olympics 

By Kaila Mellos

NBC 7 San Diego morning news anchor Steven Luke has been able to report on many different topics ranging from the Olympics to wildfires and everything in between. However, the Scripps Ranch resident did not always know what he wanted to do and explored multiple opportunities he was presented.

The Pleasant Hill, California, native came to San Diego in the 1990s to attend San Diego State University’s communication program that entailed a sample of media courses in radio, television, film, public relations and advertising.

“I wasn’t sure when I started out what I was going to do, whether it was going to be in radio, TV or film,” Luke said. “But by the end of college, I knew I wanted to go into news. I think it was when I stepped into a newsroom for the first time while applying for an internship and I just loved the energy.”

The first newsroom he stepped into was NBC 7. He interned there while in college, and once he graduated magna cum laude from SDSU with his communications degree, he went to anchor in Bakersfield for KERO, where he learned how to shoot and edit his own stories.

He returned to NBC 7 San Diego in 2002, where he is now working weekday mornings anchoring NBC 7 News Today from 4:30 to 7 a.m. and NBC 7 News Midday from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

“I returned as a reporter and have been working various reporting and anchoring shifts. At the station for the last couple of decades, and right now, I anchor NBC 7 News Today,” Luke said. “There’s a bunch of other things that we do, like we do podcasts, for example.”

Luke’s routine for most days starts at 2 a.m. as he says he “wakes up early when most people are still fast asleep in the middle of the night,” and ends his shift by noon. While it may not be the most desirable sounding shift to many, it has taken Luke to many places.

He had the chance to cover virtually every big story in the region over the past few decades, from wildfires to military deployments to Super Bowls. The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, marked Luke’s seventh assignment covering the Olympic Games. Previous assignments covering the Olympic Games include 2006 Torino, 2012 London, 2014 Sochi, 2016 Rio De Janeiro, 2018 Pyeongchang and 2021 Tokyo.

“The continuity of covering all the Olympics and going to these different countries and being at the world’s biggest sporting event is a true highlight,” Luke said. “But in terms of just importance to San Diego viewers, I don’t think anything trumps reporting on the wildfires because that’s something that pretty much everyone in San Diego can relate with the fear and the importance of what that looks like when a massive wildfire is hitting the fan just like it did in 2003 and 2007, and to a lesser degree some of the years since then.”

He recalls one of the craziest moments in his reporting was during a fire he covered.

“The weirdest and most memorable thing that has happened was when my photographer and I got hit with fire retardant in the middle of a live report for the 5 o’clock news back in 2019 while covering a brush fire,” Luke said.

Through his reporting over the past 20 years, he has been able to earn 15 Emmy awards for anchoring and storytelling.

When he is not on the news reporting, he is with his wife, Jody, and three kids. His oldest, 19, is attending Baylor University going into her junior year; his middle child, 17, is finishing up his junior year at Scripps Ranch High School; and his youngest, 14, graduated from Marshall Middle School and is starting at Maranatha High School in the fall.

“We love living in Scripps Ranch, and I’ve got a lot of good friends that have come through our time here with all the youth sports and the school involvement. My wife has been so involved in many things, and it’s a great place to live and raise a family,” Luke said.