Last week, Roger Plummer emerged from 650 entrants to make the Final 10 in CBS 2's Traffic Tryouts, a competition to find a new traffic reporter for the Chicago television station's morning show.
"I'd be blessed to work anywhere, but a chance to work in the country's number three (news) market is tremendous," said Plummer, a Niles resident who is bouncing back from a 2008 layoff at WYLL, a Christian radio station based in Elk Grove Village.
Niles-area residents who think it would be cool to have a TV personality for a neighbor can vote for Plummer out of the 10 finalists at www.traffictryouts.com. You can also see his April 16 audition, when he walked in as one of the Final 75 and, thanks to a successful take in front of the camera and light-hearted banter with the anchors, was chosen for the Final 10.
"After they narrowed it down to 75, we were all brought down there. Everyone at CBS was so accommodating--they treated us like royalty. That helped a lot of people be calmer," said Plummer, who was an East Maine Elementary School District 63 board member from 2005 to 2009.
"I was calm because I just prayed for being calm. I thought, 'there's no point in worrying.'"
He's asking people to vote for him by clicking on the green light on the traffic icon on the site.
Votes from the public influence which contestant gets the gig--a three-month stint as morning traffic reporter on CBS2, with the possibility of having the contract renewed for a year.
On Wednesday May 4th, Plummer will do all the traffic broadcasts on the morning show, from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. Each of the 10 finalists takes over for one day in early May, and CBS2 will announce the winner on or around May 18.
Winning would help his family, Plummer acknowledges. His wife Caterina, a teacher, has been the main breadwinner since Plummer was laid off from a dual job as a morning host and program manager at WYLL. He has been working at Macy's as a men's clothing specialist, but the past two years have been financially challenging, he said. That makes his success at CBS2 so far especially encouraging.
"One of the coolest things about this is, you have people affirming you, praying for you and saying good luck, best wishes," Plummer commented. "Everybody should have something like that--like one week, we're just going to affirm you."
Watch Plummer in the video at right.