5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati

5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati
April 8, 2011, 4:30 pm
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CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest ... one of the most popular fixtures on the local news scene for over 20 years, whose passion for the city and people of Chicago is clearly evident by her 247 devotion to her job ... in addition to her multiple TV industry awards, she has also been a champion for some amazing causes throughout her stellar careeryou can catch her anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. ... here are 5 Questions withALLISON ROSATI!

BIO: Allison Rosati is anchor of the award-winning NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

Rosati joined the NBC 5 family as an anchor and reporter in August 1990. Viewers first got to know Allison on "First Thing in the Morning." Five years later she began anchoring the early evening news. And in May 1997 Rosati was promoted to co-anchor of NBC 5's 10 p.m. newscast.

Originally from Pine City, Minn., Rosati started her career in Rochester, Minn., at KTTC-TV in 1985. In July of 1987, Rosati was hired by WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., to report and anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

In 1985, Rosati graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in speech and communications and received cum laude honors. Gustavus has honored Rosati with its First Decade Award and its Distinguished Alumni award for her achievements in journalism.

Allison has been honored with numerous national and local awards for her work on stories, series and specials that impact our communities. The Emmy award winning Wednesdays Child resulted in many adoptions for children looking for forever families. The American Women in Radio and Television recognized her work on the Smart Choices, Safe Kids special with a national Gracie Award. The program educated kids and parents about child predators and how to recognize the lures they use. Additionally Rosati received the prestigious Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans -- an annual award to journalists who are not a timid friend to truth.

So whether Allison is being honored by the local war veterans organization for her support of the troops, or out in the neighborhoods to interview women for the political pulse of our times, she is known and applauded for her integrity, passion and commitment!

Committed to community service, Rosati volunteers her time to many Chicago-area organizations. She is passionate about giving back and has a special affection for charities that benefit children in need.

Allison and her husband have four children and one puppy.

1) CSNChicago.com: Allison, thanks for taking time to spend a few minutes with us. Lets start it up. Youre approaching your 14th anniversary as primary anchor on NBC 5 News. An impressive feat to say the least since the anchor chair is commonly a revolving door for many local newscasters throughout the country. What do you think has been the key to your connection with Chicago viewers over the years?

Rosati: First, I can't believe its been 21 years since I first started working at WMAQ! How is that possible? It seems like only yesterday that I arrived here at the NBC Tower with my heart pounding; so excited to be part of such an incredible newsroom and cover a city I had long dreamed of working in. Each day when I come to work, I am still excited to bring our viewers the important, interesting and sometimes heartbreaking stories that never end in the city that is our home. I truly love what I do and I feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver the very best newscast each and every day. I think my sincere passion for what I do and the fact that I am myself on TV connects with viewers. I believe in keeping it real. Just like our viewers, I'm a working parent trying to balance it all ... concerned about schools ... gas prices ... wars ... the only difference my job happens to put me on TV every night. It is an honor and a privilege to share the news of the day with the people of this incredible city that I love so much.

2) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of your solid work at NBC 5, your Emmy award-winning Wednesdays Child segments focusing on adoption in the Chicago area has not only tugged at the heartstrings of your viewers, but also directly resulted in many of these wonderful kids finally finding a home. How did this special segment initially come to fruition and how gratifying is it to you personally when one of these terrific kids joins their new family?

Rosati: "Wednesday's Child" will always have a special place in my heart. It all started in July 1999. Under the leadership of our general manager Larry Wert, NBC 5 decided to become part of the National Wednesday Child program. The idea was to feature area foster children who had waited the longest to be adopted, which we featured each Wednesday night on our six o'clock news. The hope was to help the children find forever families. When they asked me if I would be interested in the project, I immediately thought it was a great idea to use our powerful medium of television to do some real good. But I did have some concerns.

As a teenager, I had lived in a foster home and I felt a real responsibility to make sure we treated each Wednesday's Child with dignity and respect. In telling their stories, I wanted to make sure we also didn't focus on how or why they got into foster care, but rather let each child's spirit shine. In putting together our stories, we started by finding out what each Wednesday's Child loved to do or dreamed of doing. In the process of doing what they love ... we captured the real child.

Our Wednesday's Child adventures included everything from flying on a trapeze to flying an airplane; from playing baseball with the Cubs and the Sox to playing basketball with B.J. Armstrong and Scottie Pippen. The experiences were heartwarming and heartbreaking. Each time I met a Wednesday's Child, I was touched by their uniqueness, their joy, their hopes. They all shared the same dream ... to belong ... to belong to a family that will last forever. They showed great courage. Over the years, we featured 261 children and 213 were on their way or in permanent homes when the program ended. Of all the stories I have done, Wednesday Child was the most rewarding. It showed me how telling someone's story can change lives through the power of television. I will never forget our follow up stories. The pure emotion of a child proudly saying "This is my mom and dad ... and this is my room.

3) CSNChicago.com: Lets switch to Chicago politics for this one. In your opinion, what would you say should be mayor-elect Rahm Emanuels immediate, No. 1 priority once he officially takes office on May 16?

Rosati: I love covering politics in Chicago. There is never a dull moment. Mayor-elect Emanuel has a full plate of challenges ahead. I would think his top priority would be to get the city's financial house in order and, at the same time, find the right people to lead reform in our schools. He also has to make a key hire in who will lead the Chicago Police Deptartment and find ways to make our neighborhoods safe.

4) CSNChicago.com: As with many working parents, its probably safe to assume you wish you had a little extra time to spend with your family. What advice do you have for parents out there, in particular, first time parents, to better their worklife balance?

Rosati: When it comes to balancing work and family life, there are good days and not so good days. You just have to make the best choice you can at the time. My best advice to first time parents is to hold tight to your priorities. If you put your family first, it makes your decision clear. I also believe that life doesn't come down to one big choice ... your job or your family. It is all the little choices you make along the way that define your life. If you take the time to read to your children before heading off to work ... or find a way to get to the ball game and still make the evening news... those little things add up and keep you connected to your family. I also think it is a priority to get away with just your spouse each year. You will be reminded of all the reasons why you got married and had kids.

5) CSNChicago.com: With the start of spring comes the start of baseball season. Come clean Allison ... are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? Dont worry, youre too well-liked in this city no matter which team you choose!

Rosati: To be honest, my first love when it comes to Chicago baseball is the CUBS. They were in my neighborhood when I first moved here. I loved walking to Wrigley Field, having a beer and a mustard pretzel and enjoying the little slice of heaven. But I must admit having sat next to Warner Saunders for many years, I also grew to love the White Sox. Not to mention meeting Jim Thome and Paul Konerko who were huge supporters of adoption in Illinois. I have great respect for both organizations and love to watch baseball. The Sox were magical in their World Series run. I pray the Cubs will get their chance. Maybe? ... Oh, I will just keep praying!

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything you would like to promote Allison? Tell us, CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.

Rosati: Tune in every night to the NBC 5 News at 5, 6, and 10 pm. Love to have you with us! Please head to my fan page on Facebook for updates on stories we are working on and special events I will be attending.

Rosati LINKS:

NBC 5 News official website