By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Aug 22, 2006 at 5:33 AM

After a brief stint working in a soap opera and a respectable career in television news, Amy Taylor joined Reitman and Mueller's uber-popular morning show in 2002, adding a fresh perspective and dose of sass to the already-two-decades-old program. Now called "Reitman, Mueller and Amy Taylor too," the show -- airing weekdays from 5 to 10 a.m. on 94.5 WKTI -- continues to thrive, and more than ever appeals to young women who find comfort and inspiration in Taylor's intelligence, wit and honesty.

Three years ago, after struggling with infertility in silence, Taylor went public with her story, telling listeners about her tumultuous path to parenthood and the strenuous triplet pregnancy that followed. Today, Taylor and her husband, Jason, have three healthy daughters, Chloe, Jillian and Tess, who are 2-and-a-half.

Meanwhile, Taylor continues to carve out a niche for herself in the male-dominated radio world. With big changes in store for WKTI's morning show later this year when Bob Reitman retires, Taylor's future is a curious entity. When you first joined Reitman and Mueller did you feel like an outsider?

Amy Taylor: Oh, yeah. It was like being inserted into a marriage. But I'm totally honest in saying it has been the most amazing experience, so much fun, and such an incredible learning experience. They are the greatest guys and I love 'em to death.

OMC: Do you think fans easily embraced you?

AT: I do, and I think the reason it worked for them was because they had a slow introduction to me. I started being a guest here and there, and I got to know the guys -- play with them on air -- and it worked.

OMC: How did you find your way to WKTI?

AT: I was doing television for WTMJ, which is also owned by the Journal Broadcast Group. I did the morning show "Day Break" for six years and had a great deal of success, but the schedule requires you to get up at 2:30 a.m., go in at 3:30, start writing the news, and go on the air at 5 a.m. I would do a two-hour show, then go on again at 11 a.m. For someone in their 20s, who is young and very energetic, it's a fantastic life and an incredible experience. But I wanted to have a family and for me -- not for anyone else, just for me -- I knew I couldn't pull it off. I knew the energy demands would be just too great. And then when I found out I was having triplets, I knew I couldn't get up in the middle of the night to go to work, because I was going to be getting up to "go to work" for my triplets.

So the timing was right on for me to transition into radio, and I made the change ... My point is that when you make changes, they are so great, so cool. They are all about growing up as a person and continuing to evolve.

OMC: Were you surprised by Reitman's decision to retire?

AT: No, I wasn't at all surprised. We had all talked about it. Bob has been pretty clear in saying his dad did not get to enjoy his retirement, and he felt the importance of taking time to enjoy and savor his. Plus, he's been getting up in the middle of the night for 40 years, and he's at a point where he wants to be with his grandchildren and the people he loves.

OMC: What will Reitman's retirement mean for you professionally? Is there talk of a "Mueller and Taylor" show?

AT: Things will definitely change, but I'm not sure how. The most important thing is for us to move with the times and continue to attract new listeners. I am being patient, seeing what happens. It's not that we've been told by the station not to say anything. At this point, we're really not sure. We're working on it, and we want to do the best job we can.

OMC: Your father was in broadcasting. How did his profession affect or not affect your career?

AT: I went to college at UCLA, and graduated in English literature. I didn't have any plans or background in this industry, but my father has been a broadcaster in Chicago for 50 years (Jack Taylor, WGN). When I graduated, he offered to get me an internship with the ABC affiliate in Chicago, but I foolishly said no. At the time, my dad was really well known, kind of a living legend. It would have been like being Mike Gousha's daughter here in Milwaukee, and I wanted to "make it" on my own. But you know what? That's really dumb, because you really have to get it on your own in the end no matter what. People can open the door for you, but you have to walk through it on your own.

OMC: So you grew up in Chicago, moved to California to attend UCLA and moved back to Chicago. How did you end up in Milwaukee?

AT: I came here for the opportunity to work for WTMJ.

OMC: Where do you live in Milwaukee?

AT: We live in Whitefish Bay.

OMC: How do you balance motherhood and your job?

AT: (Laughing) I don't. I don't balance anything. Things are totally out of whack. I mean, come on, there are days I say to myself, "Oh my god, I have a husband. I better say hello." The real balance comes from knowing there are days when you can't leave your children, and they need to be your priority over anything else, and there are other days when you have a babysitter and do what you have to do. There are days when my job requires me to be away for 12 or 14 hours, and it if it feels out of balance with the kids, I make a point to be around more in the days that follow.

OMC: I know you love being a mom, and the triplets are a ton of fun, but what is the naughtiest thing they've done so far?

AT: Chloe set off the security system alarm and then started screaming, "Mama, I'm scared!" Yeah, somehow she set it off, which is kind of amazing, but not, considering all of her banging on the keypad. Not naughty but still funny was "poo poo on the deck." Yeah, someone -- we won't mention any names -- was running around on the deck naked, and then just started free flowing, right there on the deck. We both started running for the paper towels to clean it up, but the dog got to it first. Yep. Yummy.

OMC: Speaking of your dog, how has your relationship changed since you had the triplets? So many parents admit that before they had kids, their pets were like their kids, but once they had a baby, their dog became just their dog again.

AT: Since the triplets, my message to the dog has basically been "thou shall not irritate me," "be banished," "be silent," "don't eat anymore, dog," "live alone, dog," "live without affection," "stay out in the rain." I think she's just going to run away one day and say "forget you people. I'm outta here."

OMC: Having such a high-profile job, are you concerned about aging?

AT: Not really. I'm 39. I admit it. And I'm going to be very careful about never lying about my age despite my very strong impulses and desire to lie. But I'm in my 30s until September, and I'm trying to bring 40 out of the closet. My friend Brian says 50 is the new 30, so that makes 40 the new 20. Right?

Life really does change tremendously for women as they get older, and you have to age gracefully and embrace all the great things about being older like peace of mind, sensibility, the wisdom to choose the right man and basically doing the opposite of all that crap you did in your twenties.

OMC: You have been very open about you and your husband's difficulties conceiving. How long did it take you to get pregnant?

AT: I got married at 34, and I had a feeling it wasn't going to go so great. I had read and knew that if you're over 35 and haven't conceived within six months, you should see a doctor. So, at the six-month point, we started the slow route to conception, meaning artificial insemination, and that wasn't going to cut it. I needed the "King Kong." The IVF. (in vitro fertilization) We wasted a lot of time and money on the slow route, and I want to say to couples who are freaked out about IVF's cost and that the injections sound scary -- it's a lot worse to wait and wait and wait and go through a monthly thing of taking your temperature and constantly asking, "Am I pregnant yet?" I spent two years of my life this way, and I wish I had listened to the first doctor who told me I should try in vitro. In fact, he showed me in a very convincing matter why I needed 'the big bad boy' (IVF) ... apparently I have very old eggs, all dried up and crunchy.

OMC: What was it like seeing three heartbeats on the ultrasound? Especially considering you only had two embryos implanted, right?

AT: Yes, we had two embryos implanted, but one split into twins, so we ended up with three. It's funny, though. As you know, when you get IVF done, right before they transfer the embryos into your uterus, they make you sign a form that says you could conceive twins, triplets, quads, gadzillionaires, whatever. After we signed the form, Jason and I were both kind of laughing because we both had a feeling like this time the in vitro was going to work, and that we were going to have twins, despite the fact we were only given a five percent chance to conceive.

So, to get back to your question, I knew very early on in my pregnancy that something was up because I was so, so sick. I went to my doctor for a blood draw and my HCG levels were like 10,000 and the nurses said something like, "I think you have 25 kids in there."

Everybody was smiling when I got on the table, because we knew we were probably going to see more than one heartbeat because of my levels, but actually seeing all three was like, 'What?' I just couldn't believe it. And then, after the initial shock wore off I was like, "How do you do this? How do you do this?"

OMC: So, how do you do it?

AT: Well, some doctors say "don't do it," so it took some diligence to find the right people who thought this could actually be a healthy pregnancy and bring these kids into the world in a great way. The people at St. Joe's helped us.

OMC: How many weeks were you pregnant?

AT: Thirty. Thirty arduous weeks, but I started having contractions at 18 weeks. My girls all weighed over three pounds, and were all relatively healthy for a premature birth. They're still doing great. They don't even have allergies. We've had some mean old diaper rash, but that's about it.

OMC: What are some of your long-term professional goals?

AT: I should really take time to define some goals, shouldn't I? A month in Italy or France would be nice. I would love to spend a long period of time with my family, feeling totally unfettered. Otherwise, hmmm ... Is a manager listening to this conversation? ... There aren't a tremendous amount of women in radio -- especially in Milwaukee -- who have a total platform. Unlike television, which has been thoroughly dominated by women, radio is still a male bastion and I think we're accustomed to the male voice. We've had to overcome prejudices of people not wanting to hear a woman's voice on the air, and I think we've moved away from that for the most part.

There are some terrific women in radio, and I would like to have an expanded voice. I have been part of an ensemble for a great portion of my career in radio and I would love to continue to develop that, whether it's a talk show, doing what I'm doing now, or with another male partner. I don't know but I think there's room for more women's voices. Okay, so there. I verbalized a goal. That's what I am going to pursue. It's been said here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.