Jorge Estevez moved to Atlanta to start his new job just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic hit, then racial justice protests unfolded and a civil rights icon died.
It’s a familiar story, but for Estevez, it’s also just his job in the news industry. He’s a primetime anchor for WSB-TV and was only weeks into his gig before the world turned upside down. He was cordoned off from new co-workers and came close to working from his basement.
“It’s been such a trying time for so many families and so many people, whether you’re older or younger, single or married – so hard,” Estevez said in a new episode of Podcast Q.
“There’s so many issues out there,” he added. “And it’s a gift to be able to help people navigate through that with such a powerhouse station in such a great state.”
Coronavirus – a great equalizer on many levels – delivers its daily indignities to Estevez, too. Those pandemic pounds. Packing a lunch to avoid restaurant crowds. Vending machines that are turned off.
Estevez approaches it all with a sense of humor, and plenty of snacks.
“I bought a cooler and bring a cooler to work and have my dinner and my lunch and my snacks,” he said. “My drawer is just full of snacks because they took out the vending machines at our station, they took out the ice, they took out the snack machines that you could purchase like chips or a Milky Way bar or whatever because they don’t want people touching stuff.”
“So now it’s like my entire two drawers of my desk are junk food, and I try to slip in the occasional protein bar,” he added.
Podcast Q’s wide-ranging interview with Estevez – WSB’s first openly gay and second Latinx prime time anchor – also delves into his covering the Pulse massacre in Orlando, how coming out impacted the relationship with his parents, and convincing the Republican mayor of Orlando to preside over his wedding.
“My story has some pitfalls, but it’s still better than so many other stories out there as far as the love that I feel to this day. But yes the headline is my father has disowned me. Fourteen years later, we still don’t talk,” Estevez said.
Listen to the podcast below and subscribe with your favorite podcast app.
- (1:16) Putting that Florida sun and heat in the rearview
- (3:32) Welcome to Midtown living
- (4:46) Covering a pandemic, racial justice protests and the death of John Lewis
- (8:18) How COVID has impacted his work and made WSB’s studios a lonely place
- (11:37) A day in the life of major market news anchor
- (14:22) Battling to keep those coronavirus pounds off
- (16:55) Running in Atlanta: “You can’t go three blocks without a hill”
- (17:53) Success with Weight Watchers and his bestie girlfriend
- (21:40) Covering the Pulse massacre in Orlando
- (27:00) Why the Republican mayor of Orlando presided over his wedding
- (31:25) How coming out to his father ended their relationship
- (36:18) Serial monogamy, his mother and “The Golden Girls”
- (41:04) Balancing the job with being WSB’s first openly gay prime time anchor
- (45:45) Sorry, there’s not really a coffee table book in the works
- (47:16) What’s it like working with Jovita Moore
Photo by Patrick Saunders