Over the last couple of weeks on the I’m Interested podcast, the listener continues to learn more about the early years of Mike Greenberg’s career. On this week’s episode, he spoke with Yankees radio analyst Suzyn Waldman.
Before the interview, Greenberg went back to his days working at WSCR Radio in Chicago and how he wanted to cover major sporting events at night. In order to convince the station to get him that opportunity, he took inspiration from what Waldman was doing at WFAN covering the New York Yankees.
“Being from New York, I knew that Suzyn Waldman covered the New York Yankees as an electronic beat reporter for WFAN,” Greenberg told his listeners. “I went in and put together a whole presentation for the management on how they should let me do that with the Bulls. For reasons only known to the people I work for, they gave me the job at the age of 24.”
Waldman would gave some insight on how she made the position a reality. It started with being moved to overnights. While listening to the station during the day, Waldman said she noticed that the newspaper beat reporters the station was using to give updates on the local teams were not offering much value to the listeners.
“I went to the program director and they said this isn’t good for us. Why don’t you give me a tape recorder? I’ll take my car and I will go to the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, or Yankees games and I got sound, so I can come on the air at 2 a.m. and break stories.”
One powerful question that Greenberg asked Waldman was how she sees the industry now and Waldman was very candid saying she will be happy when it is not a big deal that a woman gets hired for a major position.
“I believe that I am tolerated and not accepted and still to this day, they would rather have a guy in the Yankees radio booth. I don’t think it has changed fast enough. When we get to the point where someone can be hired and it is not a big deal because it is a woman, then I will be satisfied.”
When asked about her role in opening the world of baseball broadcasting up to women, Waldman joked about what it means to be called a “pioneer” before heaping praise on those following in her footsteps.
“I guess it means that I am old because no one is a pioneer at 20. I think it means a lot now because now I see the results of what I have done because there are sleuths of young women in their 20’s who are now doing minor league baseball play-by-play and they are very good.”