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Freedman's education included Chaminade High School near his hometown of Woodland Hills, California. Freedman showed an interest in reporting at an early age, and became published with a regular column in a Los Angeles newspaper at the age of fourteen. He worked as an apprentice at KABC-TV while earning a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He continued his academic career studying journalism at the University of Missouri's prestigious program earning a master's degree in 1978.
In the late 1970s Freedman began his television reporting career at WLKY-TV in Louisville, Kentucky before moving on to WAVE-TV. Freedman continued his career at KDFW-TV in Dallas, Texas and then moved to San Francisco in 1981 to work for KRON-TV. By 1989, he had risen to creating feature stories for a nationwide audience for CBS News. In 1991, he began his tenure at KGO-TV and has covered a number of notorious stories nationally for ABC News, including the 1994 Northridge earthquake and Hurricane Katrina. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, he traveled across the United States by train, stopping in small towns to find stories of how terrorism has affected ordinary Americans. In 2006 he repeated this trip to mark the five-year anniversary of the attack.
Freedman is the author of a book, It Takes More Than Good Looks To Succeed In Television Reporting. The text, written in an anecdotal style, explains Freedman's methods and recalls many of the stories he has covered. Freedman's book is required reading in many college journalism courses, including classes at his alma mater Missouri.
Freedman is also a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and has contributed essays to golf publications. He writes columns on golf equipment, courses, and the humor of the game for KGO-TV.
He lives in California's Marin County and contributes regularly to KGO-TV's nightly newscasts and its website.
Wayne Freedman has received fifty-one Emmy awards from the Northern California chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded the Silver Circle designation by the organization.