The excitement in the air was palpable as staffers here at Channel 3 awaited the arrival of a guest for Face the State. Was it Rudy Giuiliani, Linda McMahon, or one of the other celebrity politicians who have walked through the WFSB doors? Nope. It was a woman very few people have actually ever seen: legendary radio reporter Fran Schneidau. Yes, the Connecticut bureau chief for one of the most powerful radio stations in America, WCBS Newsradio 880 had come to Channel 3.
Schneidau is part of our guest reporter panel this Sunday on Face the State along with Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer. When she arrived at our studios, a small crowd was waiting to meet her. Denise stayed late to express her admiration for a trailblazer in journalism. “Your generation paved the way for women like me,” Denise gushed. Susan Raff came over, as did Len Besthoff and others. Our intern also posed for a picture with Fran, a woman he said he grew up listening to. Kara spoke to her over the phone, bummedf about not being able to come in and meet this broadcasting icon in person. One of our associate producers who also works in radio, later confessed he was so starstruck he couldn’t muster the courage to come over and meet Fran!
Schneidau has been a fixture on 880 for 33 years, and that was not her first radio job. Before radio she was a trader on Wall Street. She’s a mother, and a grandmother with no plans to retire. She is also a “Face the State” junkie who brags she never misses a show.
Schneidau is a hard nosed reporter who has covered it all here in our state, from the Rowland resignation scandal to the Skakel trial to the Mianus River Bridge collapse. I remember seeing her back in the early 90s when we both covered that Woody Allen Soon-Yi Previn nonsense in New Haven and Bridgewater.
We are honored to have Fran Schneidau on our air. This is only the second time in her career she’s been on television.
Tune in this Sunday at 11AM to watch Fran help question Former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, who is running for governor.