During my early years as a journalist, I was given the opportunity to work as a general assignment reporter for NBC's powerful 50,000-watt radio station in Chicago. The job catapulted me into broadcasting's big leagues, and I was determined to work hard, think smart, and wow everybody with my excellent reporting skills.
One of my first assignments was a "breaking" news story of a pleasure boat sinking in a storm on Lake Michigan. Several passengers drowned. The Coast Guard dramatically rescued the rest. I raced to the scene where a Coast Guard cutter was bringing survivors ashore, interviewed anyone who would talk to me, then hurried back to the station to get the story on the air as quickly as possible.
My editor, a crusty fellow with more than 20 years at NBC, had a reputation for making the lives of on-air staffers as miserable as possible—especially the women. Humiliation and intimidation were his weapons of choice.
As I scrambled to finish my report for the fast-approaching newscast, ...1