Brian Burnell is Connecticut born and raised. His mom is from East Hartford, his dad from Torrington, and Brian grew up in New Fairfield, graduating from Immaculate High School in Danbury.
He went on to Syracuse University where he lettered in football and received a bachelor's degree in 1979.
His first job in television news came in Syracuse as well where he was a reporter/photographer (a 'one man band' in news speak) at WTVH for a couple of years.
From there he moved on to WRGB in Albany where he spent 8 years working his way up from reporter to anchor before moving on to Connecticut. He spent 8 years at WTNH in New Haven, the last two as main anchor, before joining necn in 1999.