Connie Szerszen

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Szerszen in 1976.

Connie Szerszen is an American female radio personality. Szerszen is a native Chicagoan of Polish ancestry. While she was talent coordinator at WCFL, Szerszen was discovered by air personality Penny Lane.[1] who called WCFL one day, and soon talked Szerszen into auditioning as a dee-jay for WSDM-FM, "The Station With the Girls and All That Jazz--Smack Dab in the Middle" In October 1969,[when?] Szerszen started her broadcasting career at WSDM-FM, her radio name was Den Pal Dawn where she featured "The Bachelor Boy Household Hint of the Day" and celebrity gossip between songs; she eventually did the morning show before leaving for WIND (AM).

On Christmas Day, 1971, Connie started DJ'ing at WIND and did irregular shifts for the station. (Chicago Daily News, Norman Mark, April 12, 1972) In March 1974, Szerszen became America's first female rock jock to have her own PRIME TIME program on AM radio in a major market as announced in a WIND press release in March 1974. (Original press release is pictured in her memoir, Top Rock Girly Jock--A Chicago Radio First!) That was 6-10 PM as a deejay on WIND (AM) in Chicago, a popular AM station then owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, a/k/a Group W. Szerszen was entered into the U.S. Congressional Record for that achievement; the Chicago Sun-Times Midwest Magazine made her a cover story, crediting her as "The Woman Who Invented Strip Radio." CBS-2 in Chicago did a feature story on her show for its 5 PM newscast with Bill Kurtis on May 7, 1976 and broadcast on Channel 2 News in Chicago=[citation needed]

Szerszen was also an on-air personality for several other Chicago stations, including WJMK, WJEZ, WJJD, and WUSN "US-99." She appeared on local TV shows and guest-hosted WCIU-TV's Kiddie-A-Go-Go in October, 1970.[specify]

When ABC7 was searching for a hostess for its daytime talk show, Program Manager Jeff McGrath interviewed Connie and viewed her guest appearance on the NBC show, Tilmon's Tempo, with weather forecaster/pilot Jim Tilmon. (Photo from NBC "Christmas Show" in Top Rock Girly Jock--A Chicago Radio First, p 204.) All went well, until he informed her at the end of the interview that they would also be talking to a woman from out of town named Oprah Winfrey. Connie lost out to Oprah.

On June 14, 2011, ABC7 featured Connie on Chicago Close-Up as a pioneering female DJ in the 4 PM news segment with Janet Davies.

Connie Szerszen is known to her listeners as the Top Rock Girly Jock and Polish Princess and ends her shows with "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła", the first line of the Polish national anthem.

In addition, Szerszen is a portrait artist. Szerszen's portraits of donors hang in the main entrance at St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in the Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Centers in Milwaukee and West Allis, Wisconsin,[2] her works also hang at The Oconomowoc Hospital's Cancer Center; St. Mary of Nazareth in Chicago; Inverness Golf Club; Holy Family Parish, Inverness, Illinois; and the Village Hall in Roselle, Illinois, she has also done works for private and corporate clients, such as USG Corporation. In February 2006, Crain's Chicago Business did a feature story on her portraiture.

Szerszen has attended School of the Art Institute of Chicago, American Academy of Art, Northwestern University and The Palette & Chisel in Chicago with Dave Becker in October, 2002,[citation needed]and The Studio of Long Grove with Romel de la Torre in 2003.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Photo of Connie at WCFL in 1967 with The Buckinghams Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Adoration, inspiration, Daily Herald, October 19, 2003

External links[edit]

  • June 14, 2011 - ABC7 4 PM NEWS - Chicago Close-Up - Interview with Janet Davies