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01/22/2009

Andy Shaw

    One thing I'll always remember about my just-retired colleague Andy Shaw, is how difficult it was to have a conversation with the man during the workday.  It seemed Andy always had a phone pressed against his ear.  And for those of us trying to get a word in edgewise, it became more of a problem after the perfection of cellular technology allowed him to continue in the hallways, edit rooms and elevators of 190 North State Street.   And yes, I've even heard parts of Andy Shaw phone calls in an ABC7 men's room.
     After confirming last summer that our longtime political reporter planned to retire, I tried to talk him out of it.  After all, he's got a ka-zillion contacts, knows Chicago politics up, down and sideways and is in such perfect health he's able to run five miles a day.  And most important,  I was aware of the role Andy had played in our success as Chicago's top-rated television news organization.        
     But he insisted he was serious about leaving and that's when I approached the bosses here at ABC7 and told them that if Andy did retire, I wanted to take over the political beat.   As one of the senior reporters at ABC7 with 17 years at the station and 35 years in the profession, it was logical and necessary that the most tenured members our staff step up to fill such a critical role in our newsroom.   (Keep in mind that seven months ago, none of us knew that a Chicago guy would be elected President and the Governor of Illinois would be impeached)  
     So yesterday, after reporting from Washington on Barack Obama's first full day as President, Andy Shaw bid farewell to the ABC7 viewers he served masterfully for over a quarter of a century.    All of us will miss his political intelligence as well as his "energizer-bunny" approach to the mission.  
     But during my years at ABC7 there is one thing I've learned about this place that stands above everything else:   We are the consummate example of a team effort.  Anything you've ever seen on our news programs reported by myself, Andy or any other individual standing in front of the camera represents the work of dozens of seasoned professionals.  And because those managers, producers, technicians, photojournalists and newsroom support staff are still here, I could not be more confident that we will continue to provide the best political coverage in Chicago.

Comments

Congrats, Charles. You are a very good reporter. I can listen to you present a story and know that the details you provide are accurate and not slanted; you present all sides well. I look forward to your political reports.

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