Jim Finerty & Cathy Brugett Hosts of WJW-TV8’s PM Magazine 1979-1983
Viewers loyal to WJW-TV8’s PM Magazine have a special place in their hearts for the magazine-format show’s first on-air personalities, Jim Finerty and Cathy Brugett.
Finerty was already a veteran of local broadcasting when he won the gig in 1978. Brugett was a year out of college and new to, well, everything. “I was unemployed and figured I’d apply as an associate producer,” she recalls. Instead, the show’s executive producer bullied her into auditioning as co-host.
“I can’t emphasize enough the camaraderie and support I got from that entire staff,” she says today. “Jim was fun, funny and spontaneous.”
Finerty left PM Magazine after three years. Brugett stayed on until 1983, when she and husband, Drew Peretzky, took off on their sailboat, Pilgrim. Here’s what they’ve been up to since.
Jim Finnerty Yes, his last name has two ‘N’s now. “That’s how it was spelled in Ireland,” he says. “Somehow we lost an ‘N’ in America.” He got it back when a designer on his Sacramento talk show, Finnerty & Company, convinced him it would look better graphically with the double letter.
Finnerty has also hosted an entertainment show, Seeing Stars, on the USA Network; anchored the news in Portland, Ore.; and hosted and executive-produced a travel show out of San Francisco.
He now lives in Northern California with his wife, Liz, of 36 years and is a series producer for PBS’s America’s Heartland. Also, check out the Will Smith film The Pursuit of Happyness. Finnerty snags 29 seconds of fame as a newscaster appropriately named “Jim Finnerty.”
Cathy Brugett From 1984 to ’88, Brugett and Peretzky, a professional photographer and videographer, sailed the world, filing travel pieces that ran on all PM Magazine affiliates. When they came back to Cleveland for half of each year, she’d resume co-hosting duties. In 1988, they settled in Cleveland and opened Gateway Communications, a video production company serving corporate clients. Last year, Brugett and Peretzky sold Gateway and moved to Oriental, N.C.
“It’s on Pamlico Sound,” she says. “Right on the water.” Naturally.
Brugett continues to write for many of her former clients, and about the show that kicked off her career, she says, “[It] was a great way to learn to love the city of Cleveland.”