Anchormom

By Rob Donoho

Photo by Janelle Maas

(Published in the November 2010 issue)

Having your mother anchor the news on TV is something to brag about, right?

Not necessarily.

"My son is 10 years old and he couldn't care less about the fact that I'm on television," says Susan Taylor, whose face has been a mainstay on NBC San Diego's afternoon and evening newscasts for more than 14 years.

Taylor prefers not to use her son's name in public forums, but she's a proud mom who likes to tell stories about her boy, who was conceived not long after a doctor told her she couldn't have children.

"When he was about two years old, he would hear the music on the TV that played before the show came on," says Taylor. "And according to my husband, he'd go up to the television and hit it with his hands, because he knew Mommy was coming on."

Maybe a 10-year-old cares that his mother is a TV newsie, and maybe he doesn't. But Taylor definitely scored Cool Mom points with her job this past summer. For a couple live newscasts, she let her son hang out on the set.

"He knew if he said one word, it was over," remembers Taylor. "He was great."

Taylor is constantly juggling motherhood and career. Her husband Ed is a stay-at-home dad. When the guys are leaving for school in the morning, Taylor is usually still in bed. She gets to NBC's downtown studio in the afternoon, stays in work mode until the 6 p.m. newscast is done, drives home to North County for dinner with the family, and then heads back downtown for the 11 p.m. show.

"It's a complicated and challenging dance," she says.

Weekends are spent taking the family dog, Chewbacca, to the beach, or just hanging around the house. "My son's friends tend to spend a lot of their time at our house. They have Nerf gun battles and they went through a Star Wars phase. They've also been making movies, of late."

What about newscasts?

"Nope," says Taylor. Her son isn't even allowed to watch the news.

Speaking of the industry, Taylor says the news business is finally seeing an uptick from the depths of budgets being cut due to lack of advertising revenue.

"Right now we have fewer people and smaller budgets, and it's harder to do your job up to the standards you're used to."

Taylor enjoys working with her longtime KNSD (NBC 7/39) co-anchor Marty Levin. She, Levin and sports anchor Jim Laslavic have all worked together over a span of two decades, beginning when all three were at KFMB (Channel 8).

"Over the years, and even as technology and the Web have come into our lives, my job hasn't changed," says Taylor. "I'm still paid to know what's going on, and to tell stories. The delivery system is changing, sure, but the art of telling stories isn't."

And that, presumably, includes the art of telling stories about your kids.

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