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Natalie Jacobson is an anchor of Boston Broadcasting
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Natalie Jacobson


from Jo Levy, Freelance Writer for Boston

Boston's Golden Girl: Natalie Jacobson has been Boston’s golden girl for 32 years. Realizing just how long it has been since I have been watching her on television I wanted to find out more about her. It seems like yesterday when in 1980 I was bartending at the Swiss Alps, a restaurant (no longer in existence) in Cambridge, MA. My patrons were all in love with her and there was no question that we would be watching her news coverage. I have been a fan for a long time.

From Chicago: Born Natalie Salatich 60 years ago she grew up in Chicago. Her ethnicity is Serbian which will later in life be reflected in her love of cooking Serbian dishes.

Education & Early Background: Ms. Jacobson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire. She also has been awarded honorary doctorates from Babson College, the University of Massachusetts, Curry College, and Central New England College. In 1990 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in journalism from her alma mater, University of New Hampshire.

Natalie had a life before Boston. She worked as a contract administrator for Philco Ford in Thailand for 3 years during 1965 to 1968.

At WBZ-TV: We know Natalie from her many years at Channel 5 (WCVB). However before this job from 1969-1972 she was a producer and public affairs director for WBZ-TV in Boston. In that role she produced For Kids Only, Que Pasa? and First Person.

At WCVB: Ms. Jacobson joined WCVB in 1972 as a reporter and became the anchor for its midday newscast that same year. She went on to become co-anchor of NewsCenter 5 at 6:00pm. This made her the first woman to anchor an evening newscast in Boston. She went on to add the 11:00pm news to her resume. In 1994 she added the 5:00pm newscast to her already busy schedule.

Natalie now co-anchors the 5:00pm Channel 5 news and solo anchors the 6:00pm Channel 5 news.

Special Shows Hosted: Jacobson hosted two specials as part of Channel 5's A World of Difference prejudice-awareness campaign - "What's Your Attitude" and "The House on Salem Street," a documentary on immigrants in the North End.

She hosted several live specials in Channel 5's 1989-1990 public service campaign, Great Expectations: The Education Project, and throughout the 1989 and 1990 school years reported bi-weekly special reports for the NewsCenter 5 "Class Act" profiles of teachers who make a difference.

Major Events: Jacobson hosts live coverage of virtually all major events broadcast by Channel 5, including elections, presidential visits and the annual Boston Marathon. She has reported live from Washington during Presidential Inaugurations; anchors the station’s live coverage of VIP visits to Boston such as President Clinton's 1993 visit, the 1990 visits to the city of South Africa's Nelson Mandela and of First Ladies Barbara Bush and Raisa Gorbachev.

Community Service & Off Hours: She hosts many telethons including the local segments of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.

She is a licensed pilot and flies for a hobby. She plays tennis, swims, gardens and cooks Serbian dishes.

In 2004, Jacobson launched her own web page on featuring her latest one-on-one interviews as well as an archive of notable features in a section dubbed "Classic Natalie." She offers recipes and cooking tips from "Natalie's Kitchen" too.

The Divorce: I’m not sure who was more devastated- Natalie or her fans when she and her co-anchor and husband, Chet Curtis divorced. After 32 years at Channel 5; 27 years together on the air and a 24-year marriage. Speaking for myself I was astounded that this golden couple as I had She continued to share the anchor desk for eight months after the breakup, when Chet was moved to a Sunday night slot. She shared the desk with the dignity and professionalism she had always shown.

Awards: With Jacobson as an anchor, NewsCenter 5 has won virtually every broadcasting award, including several New England Emmys and awards from the Associated Press and United Press International.

In 1986, the National Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) awarded Channel 5 the Edward R. Murrow Award for having the best news operation in the country.

In 1990, NewsCenter 5 was voted the nation's top newscast by United Press International.

Jacobson has hosted award-winning Channel 5 public affairs specials, including Somerville High,” a documentary which won a 1985 Peabody Award, often called the "Pulitzer Prize of Broadcasting." In addition, she hosted “The Spirit and the Flame,” a tribute to Special Olympians for which she received a 1984 New England Emmy.

She co-anchored Channel 5's coverage of the 1988 Presidential campaign, which received a first-place National Headliners Award In 1992, she was honored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews as the recipient of the Institute of Human Relations Community Service Award.

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