Can’t Stay Away

Jeanne Sparrow is an Emmy Award-winning television program host and reporter, a voice-over artist and top-rated and award-winning radio personality. She co-hosts “You & Me This Morning” every weekday on WCIU.

Michael Corleone said it best: “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in.”

But they can’t pull you back in unless you have unfinished business — something you want to, need to or are supposed to accomplish. I’m still trying to figure which one it was for me, but I doubt it really matters.

In 2005, when I left NBC5, I really thought I was done with broadcast TV. I loved my years in radio but didn’t want to go back because I’d worked for and with the best at the best station ever (WGCI) and didn’t need to top it. Still don’t.

I started doing television while I was there, then that became full time. After a few years, I was ready for a new challenge. I might have stayed, waiting around for it, but after seeing almost my entire family upended by Hurricane Katrina, I realized that life was too short to waste one minute not doing exactly what I wanted to do.

So I quit. Without a job. And it was the best thing I ever did. I spent almost 4 years freelancing, being what my best friend’s brother called “No Job Jeanne,” and loved every minute of it.

I did voiceover and on-camera work and taught broadcasting at the City Colleges, but most importantly, I enjoyed my life, friends and family, not just my job.

The funniest thing is, I never intended to do any of it. At least not at first. It was just a good time. The fact that I got paid to do it was always a bonus. From my first day at KNIR, the country music daytime AM station I worked at in my hometown during my senior year, I just KNEW nobody could make a living doing something so fun and easy. But when I got to Chicago, I saw you could. And how! Then my intent changed.

But when I got the call about hosting You & Me This Morning at WCIU, I knew in my gut that I had to. The show keeps changing and growing but somehow it remains my perfect fit. I work with an awesome team, great management and an amazing partner and I’m happy.

So now I find myself back in broadcasting full time. Back on mornings. Which is just hilarious, because there was a time I’d said I’d never do it again.

And that’s what getting pulled back in is all about.


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