Sexism in the media, then and now | Joan Esposito

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Joan has been a fixture in the Chicago media landscape for more than 35 years. She first came to Chicago in 1981 as a 27-year-old reporter and weekend anchor at WGN-Channel 9, then became a Monday-Friday anchor star at both the local ABC and NBC affiliates.

Since leaving NBC 5 in 1999, Esposito formed J2 Strategic Communications, a media training firm. She is now back to her roots in radio. In Feb 2020 she took over as host of WCPT AM 820's afternoon talk show, after the legendary Ben Joravsky stepped down from that slot.

Joan was the victim of false accusations back in the 90s - not about sexual harassment, but terrible character assassination. We talked about how she sued the local shock jock who fanned the flames of the allegations on air, and how she found - and he earned - forgiveness.

We also talked a lot about beauty, and what a double edged sword it is. As she said, "You wanted the boss to think you were pretty ... but not too pretty." And how neither of us ever felt that our beauty was a tool in our arsenal, something we could wield as we saw fit.

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