Dream Job | Judy Hsu
A trusted voice, Judy Hsu has been enjoying her dream job delivering the news to viewers on ABC7 News Chicago. The Emmy Award winning journalist was recently appointed to the afternoon anchor desk after working as the co-anchor of ABC7 News This Morning for 15 years. Her determination, discipline, hard work and talent have made her dream job a reality.
How did you get started in journalism?
Actually by failing at an audition! It took me two tries to make the cut at the U of I campus radio station, WPGU. I quickly learned my first lesson—never give up. After making it at the second audition, I volunteered to work whenever they needed me and that meant early mornings news updates and working many holidays. I fell in love with broadcasting and I guess it never stopped. The day after graduating from U of I, I was offered an on-air reporting job at the CBS affiliate in Champaign-Urbana, WCIA-TV. My first live shot was standing out in the snow, in the freezing cold, but I loved every second of it!
Tell us about your new role anchoring ABC 7 News at 4 p.m.
This is part that gives me goose bumps. Can I pinch myself while answering this question? Truly, this is the stuff dreams are made of. My family immigrated to Chicago from Taiwan when I was 11 years old for my dad’s teaching job as a Grand Master of Tai Chi (a form of Chinese Martial Arts). We lived in Chicago’s Chinatown, Rogers Park then Morton Grove. I remember watching channel 7 and yes, the 4 p.m. news with Linda Yu. I was just a kid with a dream of maybe, possibly, one day doing something somewhat remotely close to that. For me, Linda Yu was a tremendous role model on T.V. But even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would actually meet her in person, let alone work alongside her and all the veteran journalists at ABC7. Now I’m getting the chance to anchor the very same news broadcast that I watched as an immigrant child just learning to speak English. Appropriately, my first day of anchoring the 4 p.m. news will be on Thanksgiving Day. I have so much to be thankful for. Like I said…someone pinch me please!
As a working mom, how do you balance your demanding work schedule and your family?
Ah, the elusive work-life balance. I think I can sum it up in one sentence: it’s really hard. I’m not so sure that I balance it well. My four kids might have a lot to say about that. I’m still working through my own mommy-guilt (times four) but I think we’re all just learning along the way. The best part though is that we’re learning and working through it together as a family.
When you’re not busy anchoring the news, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
Up until my recent schedule change from anchoring the early morning news to now anchoring the 11 a.m. (and soon the 4 p.m.), my favorite pastime was sleeping. I was so sleep deprived with a 2:30 a.m. wakeup for 15 years and four babies to boot, that I had to squeeze it in whenever I could.
What advice do you have for someone— especially women—trying to get started in broadcast journalism?
To quote Maya Angelou, ‘Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.’ That couldn’t be more true for broadcast journalism. It’s not an easy field to get into, so yes, you have to love what you do. But more importantly, you have to love HOW you do it. After 20 years in the business, my advice is to really take time to know yourself, know who you are, know what’s important to you and stay true to that inner voice. Does the proverbial glass ceiling and all the “isms” still exist? In some case, absolutely. But somebody’s got to breakthrough it at some point. You just have to believe it can be you!