This just in: After 17 years as Food Reporter at ABC 7 News, the finest local TV affiliate in the country, I am moving on to get serious about my own business.
As many of you know, I’ve always worn different hats. Besides covering food for ABC 7, I wrote a book on pizza (and have another coming out in September), launched a pizza tour business and jumped on the podcast craze early. I do media training, restaurant consulting in other states, virtual food and drink events, and curated culinary experiences.
Now that the kids are out of the house, it’s time to go for it. I will continue these endeavors and also work on developing my show ideas for a national audience.
COVID forced me to rekindle the skills I learned 30 years ago at WLUC-TV in Upper Michigan. I’ve been a one-man band, so I plan to continue covering food and restaurants in Chicago, and when things open up again, in other cities as well. You’ll be able to find my stories on my revamped youtube channel.
I am excited for the many possibilities — lending my name to projects and brands I’m passionate about, working with restaurants and chefs I admire, and curating the talent for various food halls and music festivals around the country.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to say goodbye.
Working at ABC 7 has been the best professional experience of my life. Everyone is a consummate pro, working as a team unlike any shop I’ve had the pleasure of working at. I’ll miss the camaraderie of the newsroom.
I am grateful to so many colleagues for making it possible for me to grow as a journalist and do the work I love. I especially want to thank Emily Barr and Jennifer Graves, who gave me a shot in 2003, and John Idler for maintaining the franchise for so long. I appreciate their leadership. Not once in my tenure was I asked to cover something specific or lean toward a potential advertiser to curry favor. The separation of church (editorial) and state (advertising) was always sacrosanct at ABC 7.
I’ll miss our loyal viewers. Thank you to all who watched and thank you for your words of encouragement and advice. You’ll still be able to follow my adventures on my social media channels. I’ll be filing stories for ABC 7 the first three weeks in February, and final reports will air Feb. 19 and 20.
I am committed to continue my support of the fascinating and ever-changing Chicago food scene, especially the small, independent restaurants and food artisans I have so passionately championed over the past two decades.
I hope to raise a glass when we emerge from this devastating pandemic together. You know I’m always down for some Korean BBQ or a good slice of pizza. Cheers.