Our Chicago: Roz Varon retiring after 35 years at ABC7

ByKay Cesinger WLS logo
Sunday, March 31, 2024
Our Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For 35 years, Roz Varon has helped Chicago-area drivers get to where they're going. She's offered up alternatives to get around construction on the Kennedy, a crash on the Ryan or delays on the CTA.

Roz was the first traffic reporter on morning TV news in Chicago. But after decades of an early morning wake-ups and driving to work in the dark, Roz is retiring.

Friday April 5th will be her last day.

"I've been so busy preparing for it because, you know me, I was always the keeper of the photography, videos, everything," Roz said. "So now, everybody's like 'okay, 35 years, anniversary, your anniversary, anniversary of the show, retirement, we need video of this, we need video of this.' Well, I know where it is. So that's kind of what I've been focusing on right now. Getting all of that done and my regular job.'"

As Roz Varon prepares for retirement, she shares how her careeer started at ABC7 Chicago 35 years ago.

Roz did traffic on the radio for nine years before starting at ABC 7.

"I was just looking to improve my career, to get ahead, to do anything with television," she said. "Then I heard that Channel 7 was going to start this morning newscast, this was back in '88, late '88."

She said everyone who auditioned for the job all came from radio, "we all bombed, we were terrible." So, she made another audition tape and got a phone call from the station's general manager telling her, "Be careful what you ask for, it might come true."

Roz didn't know she was making history. She said she was working to get ahead and to improve her on-camera appearance. Helping people in the community has been the best part of the job.

During her time at ABC7 Chicago, Roz was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

As Roz Varon prepares for retirement, she shares how her careeer started at ABC7 Chicago 35 years ago.

So, what's next?

"The first thing I want to do honestly is purge my house," Roz said. "I need to clean. You know, when you're so busy that you have no time, you throw stuff in a closet, you throw it in a drawer, you put it in a corner. I need to get rid of that stuff and then get some sage and make it nice and clean and pure."

READ MORE | Roz Varon, Chicago's first morning news TV traffic reporter, to retire after 35 years at ABC7