ABC Legend Roz Varon Retired After 35 Years

Roz conducted her last broadcast on April 5.

ABC7's Roz Varon said goodbye on April 5 after 35 amazing years at the Chicago station. The station celebrated her for the week leading up to her final broadcast. She was overcome with gratitude while taking in all of the wonderful messages from colleagues and fans. "You know, a lot of people are throwing out these words like, icon, trailblazer, and I'm like, No, it's just me," Roz said during one broadcast while looking back on her remarkable career.

She made history as Chicago's first TV traffic reporter on the morning news, as well as one of the first TV traffic reporters in the country.  "When I applied for this job, I was not thinking in those terms," Roz said. "I came from radio. I did radio for almost 10 years before I started here. So back in late 1988 I somehow got wind of the fact that Channel Seven was going to start a morning newscast and they wanted to incorporate traffic, which had never been done before in morning news, ever anywhere."

Her peers couldn't be more proud. "Roz's expertise and connection to our viewers are the reasons she has been our top traffic and transportation reporter for more than three decades," said President and General Manager John Idler in a statement. "Chicagoans know they can count on Roz to avoid a jam. We applaud Roz as she puts an exclamation point on an outstanding career."

Varon joined the station as a morning traffic anchor in 1989. Her role expanded to providing coverage of the transportation beat. She later was a staple on "Weekender," her series featuring a weekly roundup of metro Chicago events. She also published On the Road with Roz: Adventures in Travel and Life, a collection of words and images detailing travels on Route 66 and around the world with her family.

Her work has been well received. She has won Emmy Awards in traffic reporting, specialty programming, spot news, and features. She has also been honored with Peter Lisagor Awards, including one for "Weekender." For her work outside of the station, The Girl Scouts recognized her as a role model with their Girl Scouts of the USA Thanks Badge. As a breast cancer survivor and advocate, she won the Illinois Broadcasters Association's Silver Dome Award for her breast cancer special, "Faces of Inspiration."

Varon continued to push cancer prevention and awareness. She's a motivational speaker, animal lover, and she volunteers much of her time to the Anti-Cruelty Society.