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Jeff Varner (born April 16, 1966) is a news anchor, a former entertainment reporter, and a former contestant on the CBS reality television series, Survivor: The Australian Outback

Early Life and Education

Jeff was raised on a tobacco farm in Greensboro, North Carolinamarker. He played right defense for a hockey team in the local youth hockey league. He participated in Tae Kwon Do classes soon after. He attended Southern Guilford High School, where he was active in student government and theatre arts. He later went on to earn a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillmarker .

Survivor

Jeff was a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback, 2001. He was a member of the Kucha tribe, and made it to the merge, but not the core group of nine, as there was a tie between him and Colby Donaldson. At the time, in the event of a tie, previous tribal council votes would be used. Jeff had two but knew only of one, Colby had zero. It was revealed on the Survivor Australia Outback DVD, in the special commentary section, that it was Kimmi Kappenberg that inadvertently gave away the vote he had against him during the Episode 2 Reward Challenge. This is also mentioned by Jeff in the episode he was voted off, early in the episode while the Kucha tribe is talking in their shelter at night.

Tina Wesson once referred to him as a "little devil" because he delighted in tormenting his opposition.

During the show, Jeff's luxury item was a coloring book and a set of crayons. The Survivors colored in the books and signed their autograph in it, and after the show, he sold the pictures on eBay to raise money for charities.

Journalism career

Jeff worked as an entertainment reporter for KCBSmarker in Los Angeles, CAmarker then E! News Live, and then as a field correspondent and host for the TV Guide Channel. He was a weekend news anchor and field reporter at FOX 8 WGHPmarker in High Point, North Carolinamarker. In his first year in broadcast news, he won an Associated Press Broadcast News Award: "Rookie of the Year," in 2005.

Jeff began his career in communications as a public relations assistant and corporate communications manager for Citicorp in New York Citymarker. He was part of the first team in the corporate world to utilize the internet to communicate project information as a manager in Citicorp's "Product Design and Development Division."

He used that background to transition into web development, working in developing web properties for Citibank, MCI, Harlequin Romance, and Martha Stewart Living Online. Jeff used his Survivor exposure to turn his web and PR career into a full-blown on-camera reporter, anchor and host.

In May 2007, Jeff left FOX 8 due to what he calls "angry and unprofessional management" from the station's news director.He is now working for WWMTmarker in Kalamazoo, Michiganmarker as a News Anchor for the News Channel 3 morning news. Jeff was promoted November 27th, 2008 to WWMT evening anchor. He anchors the 10pm CW7 newscast solo, then joins Judy Markee as co-anchor for Live at 11.

On July 27th, 2009 Jeff was selected as one of the top 20 broadcasters nationwide to serve as finalist for co-host for a day on "Live with Regis and Kelly." Local new viewers nominated their favorites. For two days, "Regis and Kelly" viewers voted for the best, and on July 29th, 2009 the nationwide vote selected Jeff as co-host. He's set to host August 7th with guests Susan Lucci and David Cook.

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