Sherry Margolis announces retirement from Fox 2: 'It just felt like the right time'
Buffalo native came to Detroit in 1984
Emmy-winning news anchor Sherry Margolis will sign off next week, ending a run of more than 35 years at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and giving herself a chance to make up for a lingering regret.
Margolis, a favorite in the newsroom who has worked virtually every shift, currently anchors weekdays at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Her last day will likely be Tuesday or Wednesday.
Raised in Buffalo, New York, Margolis was in her last semester of graduate school there when she landed her first reporting job at the local ABC affiliate.
"That's my biggest regret — not finishing my degree," she said. "That, and never learning to play the piano ... which maybe I'll do now."
Margolis made the announcement remotely Wednesday during a segment with anchors Huel Perkins and Monica Gayle.
"If not for this damn virus, we would be hugging you right now. But know that you are forever in our hearts," Perkins said.
Margolis, who came to the station as a reporter and anchor in September 1984, told The Detroit News she had planned to retire at the end of 2020.
"With the whole COVID-19 thing and working at home, it just seemed like a good idea to move that up," she said. Margolis has three daughters to visit out of state and an elderly mother still in Buffalo, and "it just felt like the right time."
Perkins, who shared an office and the noon newscast with Margolis when he arrived in Detroit 31 years ago, said he was shocked when he learned of her plans, "but also happy that she's leaving for the best of reasons on her own terms."
"She is so beloved — not just by viewers, but also at the station," Perkins said. "Everybody respects her and looks up to her as an example of how we should all conduct our lives."
Along with anchoring newscasts, Margolis has helped craft such special projects as the annual "Tribute to Our Troops" on Veterans Day, the "Holiday Connection" series on impactful community groups, and "Still Standing," a series of profiles of people who have triumphed after tragedy.
Margolis experienced a tragedy of her own in February 2012 when her husband, journalist and bestselling author Jeffrey Zaslow, died in an automobile accident on his way back from a book signing in Northern Michigan.
They had met at a party in Orlando, Florida, when she was still working in Buffalo. She was the only newscaster in a roomful of print reporters, and he was being somewhat scathing — but funny — about TV news.
They reconnected at a wedding three years later, and it was love at second sight.
"Having lost Jeff," Perkins said, she wanted to leave when she still had years to devote to the people she loves.
Margolis' other immediate plans, she said, involve maintaining social distancing and pondering what will come after that need dissipates.
"I think I'd like to write a book," she said, most likely non-fiction. "I'd love to take classes. Consulting. All kinds of things."
Whatever she does, she said, she will do it here. Some retirees might flee to places where winter only lasts a week, but she remembers snow so deep in Buffalo that she crossed parking lots by stepping across the tops of cars.
Michigan weather does not intimidate her, she said — and after 3 ½ decades, Detroit holds one of the increasingly crucial warm spots in her heart.