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

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

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

It’s World Series or bust for Cubs while carrying Aroldis Chapman’s baggage

It’s World Series or bust for Cubs while carrying Aroldis Chapman’s baggage

Aroldis Chapman is the ultimate baseball mercenary for a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908. The Cubs say they are going into this with their eyes wide open, knowing the superstar closer comes with off-the-field baggage and plans to cash in as a free agent this winter.

For all the talking points about being good neighbors and family friendly, the Cubs care about money and winning, which makes them just like any other professional sports franchise.

Chapman behaved in Yankee pinstripes, handled the New York market and performed with game-over efficiency, going 20-for-21 in save chances. The Cubs wanted a lefty with a 105-mph fastball and a 15.2 strikeouts-per-nine-innings-pitched career rate, making a 4-for-1 trade by rationalizing that they would rather be with Chapman in the playoffs than against him.

So the Cubs – and not the first-place Nationals or even-year Giants – had to deal with the bad optics and the lost-in-translation moments before Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Chapman did not make a good first impression while getting questions about domestic violence and the 30-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed to start this season.

But if Chapman gets the last out in October, does it even matter if he’s a good guy?

“Ugh,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Was Ty Cobb wonderful? I mean, I don’t know. All these different people that I’ve read about – something happened with (the Sox) in, what was it, 1919?

“At the end of the day, I’m here to get to know him on our terms – me and him. (And) he’s been a great teammate from everybody I’ve read or discussed (it) with.

“That’s the lenses I’m looking at it through right now.”

[RELATED: Hector Rondon says Cubs had to take chance and close Chapman deal]

Chapman joined a team that began the day with a 98.8-percent chance to make the playoffs on the Baseball Prospectus odds report and a 56-1 record when leading entering the ninth inning. This is all about what Chapman can do in October and how his presence can help the Cubs survive three postseason rounds.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlighted that the Cardinals haven’t scored a run off Chapman since September 2011, back when Tony La Russa managed a World Series team.

“Again, he did do his suspension,” Maddon said. “He has talked about it. He’s shown remorse. And then everybody else has their right to judge him as a good or bad person.

“That’s your right. But I know there are times where I’ve been less than perfect. I think we’ve all been less than perfect in particular moments that nobody’s ever known about. 

“I want to get to know Aroldis. I think he can be a very significant member. And he’s got the potential, yes, to throw the last out of the World Series. And if he does, I promise you, I will embrace him.”

[MORE: Cubs make business decision to look beyond Chapman's domestic violence suspension]

Inside baseball’s conservative bubble, Maddon has to be the game’s most liberal manager, a hands-off, big-picture guy who lets his players run the clubhouse. The Cubs believe his positive vibes and presence will help Chapman’s transition.

“I’m probably the most non-judgmental person you’ve ever met,” Maddon said. “I don’t go in that direction. I do get upset sometimes when people jump to conclusions without knowing everything.

“(Gather) all the information for yourself and make your own opinion. Draw your own conclusion, as opposed to maybe hearing one thing and then all of a sudden jumping on a negative bandwagon.

“I want to get to know him, get to understand him, have good conversations with him. And then, maybe at that point, I could draw some conclusions. But never having been around him, it’s very hard for me to do that.”

Chapman’s Wrigley Field debut will be electric, the triple digits lighting up the huge video board. At that point, the focus should shift back onto baseball. But the equation doesn’t change in a bottom-line business. There is only one outcome that will truly make Cubs fans happy with this deal.

“They expect me to come here, do my job and try to guide us to the World Series,” Chapman said through coach/translator Henry Blanco. “Especially in this city, they haven’t won a World Series in a long time, so they want me to do everything I can to help us win.”

How Joe Maddon helped inspire James Shields' gem over Cubs

How Joe Maddon helped inspire James Shields' gem over Cubs

Joe Maddon's mere presence may have hurt the team he manages Tuesday night.

As the Cubs invaded U.S. Cellular Field for the final night on the South Side of this Crosstown series, Maddon's current team was tasked with facing one of his old friends.

James Shields pitched for Maddon in Tampa Bay for seven years and the veteran right-hander took the hill for the White Sox Tuesday night, spinning a gem — 7.2 shutout innings allowing four singles and four walks.

After the game, Shields — nicknamed "Big Game James" by some — credited Maddon for his outing.

"I get amped up every game pretty much. But I always want to get amped up in front of my old manager," Shields said. "I have a lot of respect for Joe. He helped build me into who I am today. 

"I always want to go out there and show him, especially being 34 years old, that I’ve got this thing."

Maddon certainly noticed.

The Cubs manager admitted "that's what he looks like" when talking about Shields' outing.

The Cubs had pursued Shields in free agency prior to the 2015 season and came close to deal before the right-hander opted to sign with the San Diego Padres for four years and $75 million.

Part of the reason was Shields' competitiveness and desire to finish every game he starts.

"During the first part of the game, I went up to [John] Lackey and I said Shieldsy went to John Lackey Junior College at some point in his life," Maddon said. "I said I used to compare Shieldsy to you all the time back in Tampa Bay, whenever James would [refuse to come out of a game].

"So Johnny giggled about that. Very similar guys — highly competitive, believe they can beat anybody on any given day. You gotta love that about him. He's very good."

White Sox likely will place 2B Brett Lawrie on disabled list

White Sox likely will place 2B Brett Lawrie on disabled list

The White Sox will "probably" place second baseman Brett Lawrie on the disabled list before Wednesday’s Crosstown game at Wrigley Field, manager Robin Ventura said.

Lawrie initially was diagnosed with a tight left hamstring July 21 against the Detroit Tigers, causing a firestorm of speculation he had been traded when he was removed from the game. He was initially considered day-to-day after undergoing an MRI on Friday, and manager Robin Ventura said before both Monday and Tuesday’s games against the Cubs he could’ve been available in an emergency. 

But Lawrie suffered a setback sometime Tuesday, and with two games under National League rules at Wrigley Field requiring more bench pieces, Ventura didn’t want to head to Clark and Addison short-handed. 

“It just seemed like he was going backwards today, during the game, of his knee,” Ventura said. “There's no way you can go over there and play the National League rules with nobody on the bench.”

[MORE: Shields picks up bullpen as White Sox top Cubs again]

Infielder Carlos Sanchez was removed from Triple-A Charlotte’s game Tuesday night and is expected to replace Lawrie on the White Sox roster. 

Lawrie is hitting .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs and 22 doubles over 94 games this season. 

Tyler Saladino has done well in his short stint in the starting lineup since Lawrie’s injury, going 4-15 with a walk. His walk-off single on Monday netted the White Sox their third win in what now is a four-game winning streak, the team’s first since May 6-9.