Sherry Margolis has been a beloved fixture on the local evening news at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) ever since her arrival in 1984.
Detroit had a lot to cheer about in 1984. The Tigers won the World Series, defeating the San Diego Padres, 4 games to 1. And a rising TV news star — Sherry Margolis — came to town.
Margolis moved to Detroit that year from her hometown of Buffalo, New York. With her polished, professional presence and warm, welcoming smile, she has been a beloved fixture on the local evening news at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) ever since.
“It’s been my second home,” she said. “I will cherish every moment and every memory.”
Sherry has anchored the station’s nightly newscasts for the last 35 years, most recently on weekdays at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Her work earned her seven Emmy awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards and countless other honors. Last year, Margolis was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
On June 24, she announced her retirement; she signed off during an emotional final broadcast June 30.
“I want to thank all of you for allowing me into your homes each day,” Margolis said, her eyes welling up with tears. “It has been an honor and a privilege, and I don’t take that lightly. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Because of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, fellow anchors Huel Perkins, Monica Gayle and Roop Raj were not physically there for the sendoff. Most of the on-air staff, including Sherry, have been broadcasting from home since March. Perkins is the only one still on-site at the station in Southfield.
“Thank you for being an example of the kind of human being we should all be,” he said. “Thank you for being a model of integrity and grace, courage, kindness and compassion.”
The live broadcast was filled with laughter, tears and a few surprises. There were old news clips of Sherry’s hairstyles through the years and recorded interviews with her three adult daughters, Jordan, Alex and Eden. Sherry’s late husband, best-selling author Jeffrey Zaslow, was killed in a car crash in February 2012. Years later, she talked about that life-altering ordeal in a special segment called Still Standing and regularly featured inspiring stories of other people overcoming hardships and challenges.
“What a remarkable career you’ve had,” Alex said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better role model to guide us through this thing called life.”
“You taught us how to be a fearless, independent, strong and determined women,” added Eden.
Jordan also fought back tears during her interview.
“We’re just so grateful you’re our mom,” she said. “And we’re so proud of you.”
A surprise Zoom call was held after the broadcast with dozens of family members, friends and colleagues who shared stories and memories.
Jewish News contributor Alan “Big Al” Muskovitz was among them. He first met Sherry when he and his wife sold their condo to her and Jeff in the late 1980s. Sherry was eight months pregnant with her first daughter, Jordan, at the time.
“Little did I know she would be responsible for the birth of my radio career,” Muskovitz said. “In 1992, she declared I’d be a perfect fit for Dick Purtan’s morning radio show. She made a call. I made an audition tape. And within days, my life and career were forever changed.”
Despite the emotional goodbye, Sherry, a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, says she’s looking forward to her next chapter. She’ll be staying in Michigan and plans to spend more time with her daughters and her mother in Buffalo and possibly writing a book, taking up piano or tackling other projects that come her way.
“I’m excited about the open opportunity to do what I want, when I want,” she says. “It just feels like the right time.”