Tuning in to son Alex’s rock radio show each weekday is Ruth Bennett’s tit for tat. If she listens to his, he’ll listen to hers. At 78, Ruth is San Francisco’s first septuagenarian disc jockey, and every Sunday night on KMEL she blasts out a countdown of hits from Northern California’s hottest rock ‘n’ roll albums. When station execs approached her last year after seeing her unwittingly steal the show at a roast honoring Alex, Ruth thought the offer ridiculous. Her life at the time was, well, settled—”a little bingo, dinner with friends, and lots of doing nothing.” Now she gets to play the Go-Go’s, pick personal favorites, and interview the mothers of rock stars. She also spices her commentary with peppery insights like “Joan Jett wears spikes and studs and entirely too much makeup.” The widow of a violinist, Ruth is philosophical about her new gig. “When I was young we did the jitterbug and the Charleston, and our music was loud and noisy,” she says with spirit. “Rock ‘n’ roll is today’s music.” Rock on, Ruthie.
During halftime of the emotionally charged Alabama-Auburn football game last fall, TV fans were startled to hear Alabama’s coach, the late Bear Bryant, bark curtly at his interviewer, cutting off a question in mid-sentence. But Anne Simon, 31-year-old ABC sports commentator—and the only female network sportscaster to rise through the ranks—didn’t bat one lovely eyelash. “I said he obviously had a lot on his mind,” she recalls. “Perhaps his actions spoke louder than his words.” “Hey, way to handle the Coach,” an impressed Joe Namath told her. Simon has had the right blend of moxie and brains from the start. The daughter of schoolteachers in Lake View, N.Y., she moved from news to sports at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, graduated to writing and producing her own in-depth shows, covered the Lake Placid Olympics, and made the network last fall. “ABC Sports is it and I’m just starting—who knows where I can go?” she says happily. “If you were a news correspondent, you could get stuck at the White House.”