ANCHORWOMAN by Jessica Savitch


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Short, straight takes on a breakthrough career. As an uprooted Atlantic City high-schooler in the '50s, NBC anchor Jessica Savitch got hooked on radio broadcasting: ""as soon as I heard my voice over the airwaves, my destiny was fixed."" The rest of the story is drive--and preparation. (And, Savitch advises aspirants, it still is.) Her mother counseled a teaching degree; Jessica held out for ""communications."" Some hard-won local TV experience and a flurry of applications got her exactly one post-college interview (she rehearses the then-prevailing ""myths"") and, ultimately, a CBS gofer job. The Big Break was Houston; after three months as a reporter (who'd never covered a story), Savitch became the South's first anchorwoman, an instant celebrity, and one-of-those-blondes-on-TV. Success, that is, was a mixed blessing. Besides the hovering Hinckley-types, we hear of the fear of rejection. Most of all, Savitch wanted to gain the respect of her colleagues and prove that she hadn't made it (all) on her looks. There's little incident or drama: ""The Republican Convention was one of the most thrilling events of my career""--she cornered Paul Laxalt, who said Ford wouldn't be Reagan's running mate. There isn't much in the way of rumination either. But now and then Savitch gets off a bright thought--what ""anchors"" mean in rootless American lives, the prospects for a ""female Uncle Walter."" And if the book is bland and predictable (the day's round, the marital difficulties), it's also pleasantly unassuming.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1982
Publisher: Putnam