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Issue Date: April 2001 Issue

Baby on Board

Jessica Schickel

Pick up the March 2001 issue of Cleveland Magazine to read the full report of what four local newswomen have to say about two demanding occupations: television broadcasting and motherhood.
Stefani Schaefer (TV-8), Eileen McShea (TV-3), Tonya Strong (NewsChannel 5) and Kim Wheeler (WKYC TV-3) are all struggling to create harmony between career and family, a complex duet for all working mothers. Just like parents everywhere, they pull off this amazing trick, balancing expertly on the wire between job and family and making it look easy. The difference is, they must do so day in and day out under the beam of public scrutiny.

Tonya Strong on news delivery

Being a mother has changed the way Strong delivers the news. "Stories have such personal impact now," she explains. "I see everyone as someone's child. I have such a commitment to getting more complete stories. Now that I have Anthony, I want the world to be a better place.

Eileen McShea on weather maps

"When you do weather, there's nowhere to hide," McShea says with a laugh. McShea stands in a full-body camera shot, pointing to high-pressure zones. "When I was eight or nine months pregnant, I would have to laugh when I turned sideways. People joked they would have to make special maps for me. Everyone was really good-natured about it though. I was huge. One cameraman said it looked like I was carrying a third-grader."

Stefani Schaefer on facials

The thought of having a facial at Nordstrom cracks Schaefer up. "I'm such a homebody. I just want to get home and be with Race. I'm the happiest when I'm with him. If I had a facial I'd never relax. I'd just be itching to get home to him."

Kim Wheeler on bedtime stories and baths

The hardest part of the balancing act for Wheeler comes toward the end of her working day. If there's a breaking news story and she knows that it's going to make her late, she's going to miss something like bedtime stories or giving Terry a bath. "It sounds trivial," she admits, "but it's really important. Children learn early on if they can depend on you."

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