Veteran news anchor-reporter Kathy Brock is bittersweet about leaving the ABC-7 news team, the organization that has been her work “family” since the broadcast journalist arrived in Chicago in 1990.
Yes, there is great sadness about leaving, she admits, but there is also joy. Brock said she is excited to see what the future holds, but more importantly, as a going-away present amid farewell festivities Wednesday, she got the one thing she has coveted for nearly 30 years. More on that later.
After starting out as the co-anchor of the morning news and a general assignment reporter, she was promoted to co-anchor of the 6 p.m. news in 1993 and 10 years later to the 10 p.m. slot. Most recently her co-anchor was Alan Krashesky on both newscasts.
The hardest part, she admits, will be walking away from a job she loves in a city she adores, and most of all her on-air partner. Brock’s final newscast is Wednesday night.
“The hardest part? Broadly, it’s not seeing the people who I work with every day. I so admire and respect and universally love the people I work with,” she said. “[Most of all] it’s not seeing Alan every day. … He certainly made me better. What I’ve learned over time is one person leaving doesn’t change the dynamic because the core of what this is is so good. Does every story we do every day change someone’s life? Absolutely not. But we do enough stuff that’s really impactful. … And we do it on most days really, really well. And it’s not just the [on-air talent]. It’s the producer, the executive producer, the editor who put the piece together, the reporter out in the field. There’s a really special group of people here.”
Brock and Krashesky (and their respective families) have become close friends off-camera, too. Brock said that’s an essential reason the duo became so effective as a news team.
Asked to describe Krashesky in one word, Brock thought for a moment and then replied: “Genuine.”
She explained, “He has certainly made me better. I’ve learned how to be a really good partner with him. Every person you work with, there’s a different dynamic. … With Alan it’s like hand-in-glove. It’s instinctive. You develop a chemistry that’s unspoken. And for us it’s been developed for over 30 years. Just because you sit next to someone for 30 years doesn’t mean that chemistry exists. It has to be the right person for that to develop. It’s not just about sitting next to someone at the desk. It’s all those other times and conversations [about life outside work]. … I’m gonna really miss him.”
While Brock did not elaborate on future plans, she said some “exciting things have surfaced” since she announced her retirement in May. “I’m not looking for another job,” she said. “I’ve never taken more than two weeks off [from work] in my career. I graduated college on a Saturday and started work on Monday. After the birth of my second son I was back at work in nine days. So that’s the beauty of this. It’s the luxury of saying, ‘Hmmm, I have nothing going on tomorrow.’ You have to give yourself the opportunity to discover new things. I really do think there’s a second act in my future. [But] I think you have to close a door before another one opens.”
Which brings us to that fabulous going-away present.
“Alan’s wife, Colleen, besides being a smart, fantastic woman, she’s an amazing cook. And she makes this carrot cake that is second to none. And I asked for the recipe many times [over the 30 years] and Alan said she doesn’t give it out. I understand that. It’s her prized recipe. … My going-away gift today, the only thing I wanted and the only thing I got, was the recipe, beautifully written on a card. But there’s one secret [part] she told me verbally. So now I know what to do.”