Unless you,ve been out of the country, you probably know that Pam Tauscher, WMTV,s popular news anchor for 12 years (1990-2002), is back delivering the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, Monday through Friday.
But this time around, her
broadcast home is WISC-TV (Channel 3000).
At long last, Tauscher
is back doing what she
loves.But that doesn,t mean the road she
,s traveled hasn,t had a pothole or two along the way.
Just like in the moviesIn the film, The Big Chill, there,s a scene where one of the actors has an opportunity to get something she
wants very badly.
,I feel like I,m getting a really good deal on a used car,, she
says.That line is something Tauscher
can identify with.After leaving WMTV amidst rumors she
was being phased out to make way for younger talent , she
was about to celebrate her
40th birthday , she
was overjoyed to be back in the industry that feels like home.
It had been a long two-and-a-half years since Tauscher
had seen the red light of a camera and heard the three-two-one countdown prior to going on air.In In fact, it had been since 2002, when she
departed from her
long-time position on NBC 15
, where she
co-anchored the news with former anchor Mike McKinney.Tauscher
,s departure, widely covered by local press, caused speculation and controversy as to whether her
age, 40 at the time, played a part in the changes at the newsroom.Tauscher
simply says she
has moved on and wishes them well. After leaving NBC 15, Tauscher worked for the City of Madison as the Public Information Officer in Public Health.
More recently, she
worked a ,whopping three months,, as she
puts it, as the Director of Communications and Resource Devel-opment Director for the Dane County Humane Society
.Politically correct statements aside, we were eager to get to know the woman behind the image.
Up close and personalThe first thing you notice about Tauscher
self-deprecating sense of humor.She
,s learned to laugh at herself and nothing seems to be off-limits.
,s near delirious mood on the day we meet for breakfast.
and her husband have two boys, John 6, and Jacob, 3.
During the last couple of years, Tauscher
had thought about going back to broadcast journalism, but nothing developed beyond the thinking stage.Still, she
was on WISC-TV,s radar.
,When I worked for the Humane Society
, I used to bring in pets that needed homes for the ,Pet of the Week, segment on WISC,s noon news,, she
Then the powers that be at WISC-TV took matters into their own hands by calling Tauscher
and asking her
to interview. ,I decided to go through the process,, she
says. ,I read scripts on the set, and went through the interview process with a committee., And she
found that she
very much wanted the job. ,Needless to say, I was thrilled when I was offered the position,, she
And there was one other touching aspect that made her
reentry into broadcast journalism so special.On her
first day on the air, she
arrived to find a beautiful arrangement of spring flowers waiting for her
Let,s face it, many people are fascinated with celebrities, and Tauscher
is one of Madison,s most approachable, likeable public figures.How does she
handle being recognized in public?She
says it,s not really an issue.
,First of all, I,m not always recognized,, she
insists. ,I,m doing what everyone else does: shopping, driving, toting kids.I look like the average mom.,
Perhaps there,s some truth to that, but for my money, she
still has ,that look,, and she
has more of a natural beauty off-camera.She
also looks pretty amazing on the air!Tauscher
,s quick to go on record about her
feelings on wearing make-up.
,I can,t stand wearing it,, she
says. ,I don,t like taking time to put it on, I don,t like the way it feels, I don,t like anything about it.,
So if you bump into Tauscher
off the air, you,re more likely to see her
as I did for this interview: She
,s wearing comfy jogging clothes and no make-up.And, she
,s wearing glasses.On the air, she
is recognized, she
,s very comfortable talking to the public. ,I don,t think about it,, she
says. ,I just know I enjoy talking with people who want to talk with me. In the news business, we need to know what people are talking about, what they care about, why they feel the way they do about issues that are important to them.,
So what do people want to know about Pam Tauscher?
Some of the issues most important to people entertain Tauscher
, although she
,d never let you know it.