Gianola grew up in San Diego, California, and came to Portland's KATU, the city's ABC affiliate, in 1983 from a stint at a Santa Barbara, California, station where he was the general-assignment reporter. After doing the weather and morning anchoring at KATU for a few years, he was moved to evening anchor in 1985. He was teamed with Julie Emry, and the pair co-anchored KATU's evening newscasts for several years in the late 1980s and 1990s. Gianola left KATU for CBS affiliate KOIN, in August 1998. Gianola's current news partner is Kelley Day. Gianola produced the domumentary "No Perfect Answers: The Life and Architecture of Pietro Belluschi"
Gianola is the father of five children; two girls from a previous marriage and three children with his current wife, Shannon. The family lives in Tigard. Gianola is the president and founder of the Wednesday's Child Foundation. This foundation helps to raise funds for children in foster care to participate in activities such as camps, lessons, and sports teams.
- Carlin, Peter (March 12, 2002). "Day dropped, Emry hired". The Oregonian. p. E5.
- Schulberg, Pete (August 8, 1998). "Gianola hiring puts other KOIN anchors in hot seat". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). p. D14.
- Pursinger, Geoff (August 22, 2013). "Tigard resident Jeff Gianola celebrates 30 years of Portland news". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "The Hunted (2003)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Birddog (1999)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-09-29.