RADIO REPORTER & ANCHOR
WBBM Radio News in Chicago
RS: In 1973, I finished college as a freshly-minted broadcast journalist, determined to find a job in which I could remain shomeret Shabbat and in a market with a large enough Jewish community to support my Orthodox lifestyle. I had been discouraged repeatedly and warned this would be impossible: that it was unprecedented for someone in broadcast journalism to get Shabbas off and to start a career somewhere other than a small town.
KW: How have you overcome this challenge?
RS: I ignored the warnings I'd been given and sent out resumes to every major broadcast station in Chicago, my hometown. Fortunately, the CBS radio station in Chicago was looking for a news writer. I interviewed, took a writing test and then was told the job was mine. I then informed the news director that I could never work from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. He said that was no problem since he was hiring me for an early-morning Monday-Friday writing shift. Since I was to start in early October, I also had to tell him I would need several days off for Jewish holidays he'd never even heard of. As a devout Christian, he was very sensitive and accommodated my religious needs. He even got a Jewish calendar and would remind me when a holiday was coming up. I have now been at the same station for 38 years, the last 32 as an anchor/reporter.
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