Later Mom Features
Shelley Ross is an author, producer, network news executive producer (ABC Good Morning America, PrimeTime Live, CBS The Early Show). Entertainment producer/director of concert specials. Media consultant. President of The Cure Alliance.
What was your road to parenthood like? I met my future husband when his children were five and seven. I really liked him, but really fell in love when I watched him for the first time serving his children SpaghettiOs. It wasn’t much of a lunch, but he was such a sweet and loving father I thought, “how lucky.” As our relationship grew, the children would soon travel back and forth, spending Christmas, spring break and summer vacations with us. They were so young, and it was difficult for them. I read every book on how to ease the transition. Most were rubbish, but if I could get one piece of advice per book, I considered it a success. The best advice was how to help children if they feel guilty about liking you: always take them ou,t and let them pick out a small gift to take home to their mom. It was a most wonderful idea and experience to share. The children also influenced me to want to be married. I had a grown into a much more important person in their lives than “Daddy’s girlfriend.”
You have had success in many entertainment arenas. Is there one project in your career thus far that you are most proud of, and why? I’m proud of many projects, and I’d have to say two stand out: one in news, one in entertainment. I was the executive producer of Good Morning America on 9/11 and in the control room with Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson live on the air when the first plane struck the World Trade Center. As challenging as the situation was, having to report as New York and the nation was under attack, I was equally proud we could prevent false reports from airing. Our skilled anchors, along with Peter Jennings, helped calm a frightened nation. And it was important to lead in the newsroom as so many of our staffers had grown up in New York and knew people who were killed in the attacks. One of our GMA audio engineers was married to the sommelier who perished in Windows On the World. Our young production assistants were screening footage for days so we wouldn’t show people jumping off buildings. We offered and encouraged counseling for everyone. For our efforts during 9/11, ABC News was awarded the highest honor in broadcast journalism, Peabody Award.