January 22, 1973 – The Supreme Court hands down it’s Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, former President Lyndon Johnson dies, and Pam Grimes (then Pam Hildebrand) steps into a TV newsroom for the first time.
Timing and affirmative action helped Pam get her foot in the door at KCRG, the ABC affiliate in her home town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She worked her way up from radio announcer, to TV weather presenter. That led to reporting, anchoring, and newscast producing positions in Waterloo, Iowa, Phoenix, Arizona, and finally WGN-TV in Chicago.
This fall will mark Pam’s 26th year in Chicago television. As a special projects producer, Pam has been chased by tornadoes, witnessed Barack Obama’s historic Presidential run, toured Alaska in winter under Northern lights, through an ice hotel, and on a dog sled, and proudly boasts of doing a cartwheel on the roof of the Sears Tower. Her favorite stories are about people who have a real impact; every day Chicagoans who do extraordinary things.
Pam has won 14 Emmys, multiple Peter Lisagors, a media trailblazer award from Rainbow / PUSH, and in 2015 entered Chicago’s prestigious Silver Circle. She’s on the Board of Governors for the Chicago / Midwest Chapter of the National Television Academy, and serves on the National Board of Trustees. She believes in high journalistic standards, honoring excellence in television, and helping the next generation of broadcast journalists as a way to repay all those who helped her.
Pam is grateful for the tremendous support she receives from her husband and unofficial editor, Bill, children Sam & Madi, her mother, Betty Hildebrand, and three sisters, Sherri, Penny, & Polly. Pam can honestly say in 40-plus years in the broadcast news business, she has made amazing friends from coast to coast, has never been bored a day in her life, and credits hard work and timing for the opportunity and excitement of working in this extraordinary profession.