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5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati

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5 Questions with...NBC 5's Allison Rosati

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest ... one of the most popular fixtures on the local news scene for over 20 years, whose passion for the city and people of Chicago is clearly evident by her 247 devotion to her job ... in addition to her multiple TV industry awards, she has also been a champion for some amazing causes throughout her stellar careeryou can catch her anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. ... here are 5 Questions withALLISON ROSATI!

BIO: Allison Rosati is anchor of the award-winning NBC 5 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

Rosati joined the NBC 5 family as an anchor and reporter in August 1990. Viewers first got to know Allison on "First Thing in the Morning." Five years later she began anchoring the early evening news. And in May 1997 Rosati was promoted to co-anchor of NBC 5's 10 p.m. newscast.

Originally from Pine City, Minn., Rosati started her career in Rochester, Minn., at KTTC-TV in 1985. In July of 1987, Rosati was hired by WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., to report and anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

In 1985, Rosati graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in speech and communications and received cum laude honors. Gustavus has honored Rosati with its First Decade Award and its Distinguished Alumni award for her achievements in journalism.

Allison has been honored with numerous national and local awards for her work on stories, series and specials that impact our communities. The Emmy award winning Wednesdays Child resulted in many adoptions for children looking for forever families. The American Women in Radio and Television recognized her work on the Smart Choices, Safe Kids special with a national Gracie Award. The program educated kids and parents about child predators and how to recognize the lures they use. Additionally Rosati received the prestigious Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans -- an annual award to journalists who are not a timid friend to truth.

So whether Allison is being honored by the local war veterans organization for her support of the troops, or out in the neighborhoods to interview women for the political pulse of our times, she is known and applauded for her integrity, passion and commitment!

Committed to community service, Rosati volunteers her time to many Chicago-area organizations. She is passionate about giving back and has a special affection for charities that benefit children in need.

Allison and her husband have four children and one puppy.

1) CSNChicago.com: Allison, thanks for taking time to spend a few minutes with us. Lets start it up. Youre approaching your 14th anniversary as primary anchor on NBC 5 News. An impressive feat to say the least since the anchor chair is commonly a revolving door for many local newscasters throughout the country. What do you think has been the key to your connection with Chicago viewers over the years?

Rosati: First, I can't believe its been 21 years since I first started working at WMAQ! How is that possible? It seems like only yesterday that I arrived here at the NBC Tower with my heart pounding; so excited to be part of such an incredible newsroom and cover a city I had long dreamed of working in. Each day when I come to work, I am still excited to bring our viewers the important, interesting and sometimes heartbreaking stories that never end in the city that is our home. I truly love what I do and I feel a tremendous responsibility to deliver the very best newscast each and every day. I think my sincere passion for what I do and the fact that I am myself on TV connects with viewers. I believe in keeping it real. Just like our viewers, I'm a working parent trying to balance it all ... concerned about schools ... gas prices ... wars ... the only difference my job happens to put me on TV every night. It is an honor and a privilege to share the news of the day with the people of this incredible city that I love so much.

2) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of your solid work at NBC 5, your Emmy award-winning Wednesdays Child segments focusing on adoption in the Chicago area has not only tugged at the heartstrings of your viewers, but also directly resulted in many of these wonderful kids finally finding a home. How did this special segment initially come to fruition and how gratifying is it to you personally when one of these terrific kids joins their new family?

Rosati: "Wednesday's Child" will always have a special place in my heart. It all started in July 1999. Under the leadership of our general manager Larry Wert, NBC 5 decided to become part of the National Wednesday Child program. The idea was to feature area foster children who had waited the longest to be adopted, which we featured each Wednesday night on our six o'clock news. The hope was to help the children find forever families. When they asked me if I would be interested in the project, I immediately thought it was a great idea to use our powerful medium of television to do some real good. But I did have some concerns.

As a teenager, I had lived in a foster home and I felt a real responsibility to make sure we treated each Wednesday's Child with dignity and respect. In telling their stories, I wanted to make sure we also didn't focus on how or why they got into foster care, but rather let each child's spirit shine. In putting together our stories, we started by finding out what each Wednesday's Child loved to do or dreamed of doing. In the process of doing what they love ... we captured the real child.

Our Wednesday's Child adventures included everything from flying on a trapeze to flying an airplane; from playing baseball with the Cubs and the Sox to playing basketball with B.J. Armstrong and Scottie Pippen. The experiences were heartwarming and heartbreaking. Each time I met a Wednesday's Child, I was touched by their uniqueness, their joy, their hopes. They all shared the same dream ... to belong ... to belong to a family that will last forever. They showed great courage. Over the years, we featured 261 children and 213 were on their way or in permanent homes when the program ended. Of all the stories I have done, Wednesday Child was the most rewarding. It showed me how telling someone's story can change lives through the power of television. I will never forget our follow up stories. The pure emotion of a child proudly saying "This is my mom and dad ... and this is my room.

3) CSNChicago.com: Lets switch to Chicago politics for this one. In your opinion, what would you say should be mayor-elect Rahm Emanuels immediate, No. 1 priority once he officially takes office on May 16?

Rosati: I love covering politics in Chicago. There is never a dull moment. Mayor-elect Emanuel has a full plate of challenges ahead. I would think his top priority would be to get the city's financial house in order and, at the same time, find the right people to lead reform in our schools. He also has to make a key hire in who will lead the Chicago Police Deptartment and find ways to make our neighborhoods safe.

4) CSNChicago.com: As with many working parents, its probably safe to assume you wish you had a little extra time to spend with your family. What advice do you have for parents out there, in particular, first time parents, to better their worklife balance?

Rosati: When it comes to balancing work and family life, there are good days and not so good days. You just have to make the best choice you can at the time. My best advice to first time parents is to hold tight to your priorities. If you put your family first, it makes your decision clear. I also believe that life doesn't come down to one big choice ... your job or your family. It is all the little choices you make along the way that define your life. If you take the time to read to your children before heading off to work ... or find a way to get to the ball game and still make the evening news... those little things add up and keep you connected to your family. I also think it is a priority to get away with just your spouse each year. You will be reminded of all the reasons why you got married and had kids.

5) CSNChicago.com: With the start of spring comes the start of baseball season. Come clean Allison ... are you a Cubs or White Sox fan? Dont worry, youre too well-liked in this city no matter which team you choose!

Rosati: To be honest, my first love when it comes to Chicago baseball is the CUBS. They were in my neighborhood when I first moved here. I loved walking to Wrigley Field, having a beer and a mustard pretzel and enjoying the little slice of heaven. But I must admit having sat next to Warner Saunders for many years, I also grew to love the White Sox. Not to mention meeting Jim Thome and Paul Konerko who were huge supporters of adoption in Illinois. I have great respect for both organizations and love to watch baseball. The Sox were magical in their World Series run. I pray the Cubs will get their chance. Maybe? ... Oh, I will just keep praying!

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything you would like to promote Allison? Tell us, CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.

Rosati: Tune in every night to the NBC 5 News at 5, 6, and 10 pm. Love to have you with us! Please head to my fan page on Facebook for updates on stories we are working on and special events I will be attending.

Rosati LINKS:

NBC 5 News official website

Patrick Sharp hitting his stride in Year 2 as broadcaster

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NBC Sports Chicago

Patrick Sharp hitting his stride in Year 2 as broadcaster

The NHL’s best players competing against each other will be a familiar sight for Patrick Sharp, who will work his first All-Star Game as a broadcaster this weekend in St. Louis. 

The three-time Stanley Cup champ with the Blackhawks was the MVP of 2011’s All-Star contest with a goal and two assists. 

Less than two years after hanging up his skates, Sharp's transition from player to television analyst has been as seamless as everyone expected. In addition to the look and the experience, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist has been a student of his new game behind the scenes.

"I feel a little more settled," said Sharp, who can be seen Friday and Saturday on NBC Sports and NBC covering the NHL All-Star festivities. "Just trying to improve and get better at the job. It's just like playing in the NHL, the first year you ask a lot of questions and you learn as much as you can from the people that have done it before you and that are really good at it. Going into Year 2, nothing really changes; you just want to continue to get better. 

"I love following hockey and watching games; it makes the job a little bit easier. I don't think I'll ever get fully comfortable on television, but it's been fun and a good transition for me from playing the game." 

The 38-year-old’s bountiful in-depth insight during game broadcasts has come as no surprise to those who know him.

"Sharpie looks like he's really found a career," said Patrick Kane, who often shoots his former teammate a text after catching him on TV. "He does a really good job and he's easy to listen to. He knows who he's talking about, he has really good information. 

"It almost to me sounds like you're just talking to him, like me just having a conversation with him about hockey. He does a really good job of explaining the information and I think he's done pretty well at it."

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews regularly watches his former alternate captain’s commentary as well.

"I think the way he studied the game, the way he understood the game, he obviously has a lot of passion for it," Toews said of Sharp as a player. "I think it's great that our sport has someone like him with his talent level and his career so soon after his playing days to go out there and talk about it and relate some things to the fans that a lot of people, even myself, wouldn't even recognize.

"He does a great job. I think he's more than poised up there too.”

The fact that the former Hawks forward looks like he’d have no trouble skating in today’s NHL adds to his on-air presentation.

“He's still pretty jacked, I'm assuming,” Alex DeBrincat said. “He hasn't gained any weight. You'd assume after your career you'd let go a little bit, but doesn't look like he has.”

“The thing about Sharpie was he was always one of the top-five guys in fitness testing, he was always in great shape,” Kane said. “He was strong, a powerful skater, had a good shot, was able to shoot it pretty good.

"It felt like he could still play. It was just kind of like the opportunity and if he wanted to travel, move his family; so, I wouldn't have been surprised if he kept playing and was successful too.” 

Some of Sharp’s former teammates knew the transition was inevitable.

“Guys that wanted to chirp and make fun of him said he couldn't get there soon enough, he loves the camera,” Toews said with a chuckle. 

Others saw a different path for No. 10. 

“I don't know if we really expected him to do that to be honest with you,” Kane said. “I thought maybe he'd be trying to get in with the team somewhere whether it was scouting or trying to get into the front office. I could see him doing that even to this day. 

“Maybe that's a stepping stone for him maybe in the future. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the front office at some point because I think he's pretty good at scouting players and knowing a lot about the league too.” 

For Sharp, nothing can compare to the rush of playing in front of a sold-out United Center crowd, but the feeling right before going live on the air comes close. 

“I love it,” the Winnipeg native said. “It's very similar [to playing]. I love having the earpiece in and hearing our producer tell us that we're on in '10 ... 9 ... 8 . . .' Hearing the countdown kind of gives you that adrenaline feeling, the butterflies that you used to get as a player right before the first shift of a game. 

“I kind of miss that stress and anxiety of being a player and putting pressure on myself. I can't really think of too many other things in the game that bring that to us, so this is maybe a close second.”

Despite another career in the game, the four-time 30-plus goal-scorer with the Hawks still goes through what a lot of players do after they exit the ice. 

“The struggles of hanging up the skates and then trying to figure out what's next, I kind of went through that myself, still going through it,” Sharp said. “I miss the game every day. 

“I love being a part of NBC, but there's nothing that's going to replace being a professional hockey player and that's something that I did my entire adult life. I'm thankful that I've got an opportunity to continue working and be in the game, but at the same time I've had struggles just like every other former player. I want to keep my mind occupied and try to fill that void of playing hockey as best I can.”

Sharp joins NBC Sports’ national broadcast team every other week for a Tuesday or Wednesday game during the regular season. He’s frequently an analyst for Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago and come the postseason he’ll be on the national broadcasts full-time.

Whether he’s on TV in Chicago or nationally, Sharp prepares the same way.

“I think when I do more prep, that's when I struggle on the air,” he said. “I feel like I do enough prep just by being the same hockey guy that I've been my entire life. I watch the games, I stay involved, I talk to some players that are still playing that are friends of mine. 

“I don't look at it as doing research and preparation; I just love the game and love being around it and watching different players and teams play. I feel like when I fill my head with stats and things that I want to say on the air, it never comes out quite the way I want it to. So my approach now is just stay on top of the league as best I can and let's go out there on TV and just have a conversation and talk some hockey.”

Patrick had plenty of opportunities to talk hockey and get in front of the camera while with the Blackhawks, which made the transition that much easier.

“I think playing for the Blackhawks all those years we had so many opportunities to do different things with the media. Whether it was those Winter Classic games, we had the cameras following us around every year it seemed for a month of the season; training camp was always answering questions and making up videos,” Sharp said.

“The preparation that I got with the Blackhawks, being a Blackhawk player, it prepared me for life in the media post-hockey. My last game was on a Saturday and I took the week and I had an opportunity to come in and talk with NBC on the following Monday and I did it and I'm glad I did because it's been a fun experience and I like working with that team at NBC.”

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Discussing 2020 White Sox expectations

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Discussing 2020 White Sox expectations

SportsTalk Live is on location at McCormick Place to preview SoxFest 2020. Chuck Garfien and David Haugh join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00 - White Sox manager Rick Renteria joins the guys to talk about the team's big offseason and the expectations for the 2020 season. He also talks about how the team with handle Michael Kopech (4:00) and what Dallas Keuchel brings to the rotation. (6:00) Plus, he explains how guys who turned the corner in 2019 like Lucas Giolito and Yoan Moncada can stay hot in 2020. (15:00)

17:00 - Steve Stone joins the guys to explain how the White Sox rebuild is going according to plan despite not landing one of the top free agents this winter. Plus, he updates his Twitter follower battle with Jason Benetti (23:00) and talks about how he would handle Michael Kopech's return. (25:30)

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below: