• Jen Lada is a well-known and experienced news anchor, sports broadcaster and journalist who works for ESPN
• She grew up in Spring Grove and attended Marian Central Catholic High School and Marquette University
• She has been married to former ESPN anchor, Dario Melendez since 2006 and they have two children
• She is an avid runner, participating in various marathons and triathlons, and has an active presence on social media platforms
• Her current net worth is estimated to be around $1 million and she reportedly has an annual salary of $100,000

Jen Lada is a well-known and very experienced news anchor, sports broadcaster and journalist. Before joining her dream team at ESPN, she’d worked for several other networks. Her husband is also a sports anchor, who also worked for ESPN! Let’s find out more about her family, net worth, age, salary, etc.

Early life and family

Jennifer Nicole Lada was born on 26 January 1981, in Chicago, Illinois USA, so under the sign of Capricorn, and holding American nationality. Jen spent almost all her childhood in Spring Grove, where she attended elementary school. She lived there with her parents, whose names are unknown, and her three siblings, two brothers and a sister, who she is still in a very good relationships with.

In one of her interviews answering the question about her family, parents and childhood, Jen shared that she was grateful that her family was “normal”, as she had to unfortunately witness divorces, troubles and dramas in her friends’ families. From her early years Jen showed talent and an interest in sports, spending a lot of time training and in the school gym.

Educational background

Jen attended Marian Central Catholic High School, matriculating from there in 1999, also being a member of the school’s track and cross-country teams. Right after her matriculation she entered Marquette University’s College of Communications, located in Wisconsin, graduating with a BA in Broadcast Electronics; she also showed an interest in sociology. Jen worked in a local newspaper during her university years, which gave her a chance to sharpen her writing and speaking skills; she also says that she didn’t feel alone while working there and living in the sorority house, as she had felt a bit homesick from time to time.


First steps in journalism

Along with her side job in a local newspaper, Jen interned for the company called Watts Communication, thanks to which a lot of employers found out about the young and talented Jen, as they were permanently looking for new reporters, anchors and journalists. In fact, even during her years in her Alma Mater, she covered several sports events and various matches. She also reported from the games at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and covered the contests of the local athletic team in the high school. In 2001 Jen started working for the Green Bay Packers National Football League (NFL) team, and also had the chance to report on local Milwaukee matches of the Brewers (baseball), Admirals (ice hockey), Bucks (basketball) and Wave (soccer).

Jen Lada

In 2003 Jen was offered a job at WITI, a Fox affiliated channel, with headquarters right in the middle of Milwaukee. She worked there for three years as a reporter, and enjoyed her job very much, even getting the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards for the Best Sportscast (along with her team).  However, she decided to move on, and quit WITI to join the team of WREX.

Getting to ESPN

Accepting the offers from WREX meant a lot for Jen, as she became more popular among the audience, and other channels and reporters confirmed her talent and skills. She covered several important championships and events, including raising awareness of multiple sclerosis, which was organized and performed by a woman who ran across the US to tell the story of her illness, and to cheer up other people suffering from sclerosis.

In 2013 she joined Comcast Sports.Net Chicago, becoming a sportscaster. However, she stayed there for only two years, as in 2015 ESPN knocked on her door, and invited her to join their team in the position of an anchor and reporter. She appeared and successfully performed her role of a sports reporter at such events as “Baseball Tonight” and “First Take”. In 2016 Jen was appointed as the host of the new show called “Mike & Mike”, which produced over 60 episodes during two years, being a warmly-welcomed and highly-acclaimed sports show among the audience. Jen was promoted to become the co-host of the popular show entitled “Get Up”, as the previous host of the show, Michelle Beadle, decided to leave the program.

As of 2019, Jen is a highly experienced reporter, appearing in such shows and programs as “College GameDay”, “Sports Center”, “College Football Live”, and many others.

Personal life, husband Dario Melendez

Jen hasn’t hidden the information about her marriage – it’s widely known that she’s been married to former ESPN anchor, Dario Melendez since 2006, having dated for just a year. During their family life they’ve welcomed a son Chase, and a daughter Layla, often sharing their pictures on her Instagram account. Due to her very tight schedule, Jen tried to take Layla with her to her shootings; while Jen is working in front of the cameras, her colleagues entertain Layla, not letting her get bored, and giving Jen a chance to be with her family and at the same time concentrate on work.

Who is Dario Melendez?

Sacred Heart University’s graduate, Dario Melendez has a BA in media studies, and previously worked at several channels, covering various sports events. From October 2008 to March 2009 he worked at WINK-TV, located in Fort Myers, Florida as a sports anchor. Moving to Milwaukee, from November 2010 to February 2013 Dario worked in the position of a sports reporter and anchor at WISN-TV. In February 2013 he accepted the offer of a similar position from ESPN – the sports reporter and anchor. Later he quit ESPN to join Fox Sports, in Milwaukee.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

Jen is a dog lover, and has a Jack Russell Terrier who is named after the stadium where Jen’s favorite baseball club, the Chicago Cubs play – Wrigley, though many people think she named her dog after a gum. Whenever Jen has some spare time, she dedicates it to some physical activities, such as running, cycling or hiking. She is a passionate participant of various marathons and triathlons, running the Chicago Marathon three times already, and she is not going to stop!

Social media presence

Jen is very active on social media platforms. She has an Instagram account as well as Twitter, while her Facebook page is liked and followed by almost 10,000 users.

Appearance, clothing style

Jen has long dark brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5ft 7ins (1.73m) tall and weighs around 136lbs (62kgs); her vital statistics are not available at the moment. As to her clothing style, Jen likes coats of all types, and is well-known for her passion for beanies with pom-poms. Her favorite color in clothes is purple. She doesn’t have any tattoos.

Net worth and salary

According to authoritative sources, Jen’s current net worth is estimated to be close to $2 million, and reportedly has an annual income of over $100,000, as of 2024. As she’s still working hard as a sports anchor and reporter, her net worth will very likely grow.

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As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I oversee the full writing process, from in-depth research to the development of compelling narratives, ensuring accuracy and excellence in our output. Our goal is to produce insightful profiles that deeply explore the lives of prominent figures in business, entertainment, and other fields. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, we spotlight the significant journeys and achievements of individuals who captivate and inspire our readers.

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