Professional marriages are even more difficult than the romantic variety, and the divorce rate is much higher. Mine survived a tepid honeymoon to blossom into a rewarding on-air partnership and enduring friendship.
Susan Stamberg was a writer and tape editor for All Things Con-sidered when the program debuted in 1971. Women didn’t anchor broadcasts in those days. They worked behind the scenes and made occasional contributions on the air. But when Susan filled in as cohost one day, the phones lit up with calls from appreciative listeners. She was a sensation—refreshing, intelligent, engaging, and honest. She wasn’t just warm and personable; she was way out there, reacting to a guest’s humor with an infectious laugh that defied description. Men were charmed by her. Women took her to be their champion. By sheer force of personality, Susan took over the broadcast, becoming the first woman to anchor a nightly national news program.
Susan was great radio, the perfect performer for the aural medium that appeals to the ear and the mind. You’d think that a guy like me who’d spent his life loving radio would recognize a natural-born radio personality and be thrilled to work with her. Not Mr. Prig. I was in shock, wondering what in the name of Edward R. Murrow and all that is holy is this woman doing on a news program.