Jill Urchak has graced Chicago radio since the mid-1990's. She has been a host, co-host, news reporter and traffic reporter. She has also written some poetry and is an avid White Sox fan.
I have heard Urchak for years, but I first really became a fan during her time at WSCR, when the various hosts made her a part of their shows. I contacted Urchak recently and she answered my questions.
Q-You have done a lot in
your career. If you could pick one dream job (in or out of your fields of
expertise) what would it be?
JU-That's a tough one. The reason I went into radio was because I love music and
wanted to be surrounded by it. My career has encompassed a little of everything
and yet, I always go back to music. My dream job in radio would be to have a
music show that plays a little of everything. The show would concentrate on music
from the 60's, 70's and 80's. I would play old clips from the artists, air
audio from each era to accompany each segment. It would be comparable to
"TV LAND of RADIO". I'm old school and I think it would bring in a
new generation of people. Also, I would bridge the gap between then and now.
Music is music and it all ties together eventually! I would LOVE to have my own
AND if I wasn't in radio, I would work with children who need role models. I
think teaching Kindergarten would be a blast. Kids are like sponges and are ready
to learn. Children keep it real!
Q-Which job (or assignment) made you the most nervous?
JU-I literally just tried out for the Channel 2, CBS Traffic gig for the morning
show. I've done a little TV, but not like this. I was a nervous wreck. Stepping
out in front of the camera with all the blinding lights was very intimidating.
I'm used to being in a studio in jeans and a T-shirt with nobody watching me.
To have your every move watched takes getting used to. I had fun and was incredibly
challenged at the same time. I hope my adrenaline worked for me and not against
me. You get one shot and if you blow it, then you blow it. Yikes!
Q-How did it feel when someone asked for your autograph or recognized you for
the first time?
JU-I thought it was a joke. I was doing a remote for WSCR and some guy wanted my
autograph and I kept on asking him...WHY? Why do you want it? I don't get it? I
was very embarrassed and thought it was a joke. It's very sweet and still blows
me away(not that it happens often). I was at a Sox game and heard some guy
screaming, "Hey Urchak! How's the traffic"? It's flattering and still
surprising when it happens.
Q-You are a legendary Sox fan. If you could make your all-time favorite line
up, who would you pick?
I don't even know how to answer that question. All I know is that it would
include Alexei Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome (bring him
back). I think if you shuffle those guys around in any order then you can't
Q-Are you writing more poetry? Any plans in that direction?
JU-I only write if I feel a really strong emotion. I don't just sit and write
something for the heck of it, I have to be inspired. Thank God for my ex-boyfriend. He gave me so much material (lol). It's true. It was a good way blow
off steam. Writing poetry makes me feel good. It's an outlet that just comes
naturally and it's safe. I'll always write and never stop!
6-What is your favorite vacation spot?
JU-I haven't been to too many places to make a comparison. I can tell you that Las Vegas is the place to be. I'm not a gambler by any means,
but Vegas has so much more. In Vegas you can lay out in the sun all day(your
tropical experience), play slots in between(your Vegas experience), see a
show(Broadway experience), shop and people watch. What other vacation spot
offers so much in one location?
It's great to know a bit more about the person behind the voice I have heard for so many years. To learn even more about Urchak, you can go to Chicago Now and check out In Check With Urchak. I really appreciate Urchak's time and thoughtful answers. Thanks, Jill and if you ever land that dream radio job, count me as a listener!