By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Sep 05, 2014 at 3:11 PM Photography:

It is easy to look back on someone’s life by hitting Google and reading what others have already wrote. When comedian Joan Rivers passed away on Thursday, many did exactly that, seeing what accomplishments and possible failures she had in her life.

What they found was a person who may have had a rough exterior, but she had a softer inner soul that had a love of family and was generous by helping young people set off on their careers.

She was known for picking on herself as much as she picked on others. She was able to connect with her audience with her wit and sharing stories about style, plastic surgery, blemishes and a neurotic nature.

You may have loved or hated her jokes, but you can’t deny the fact that she was a groundbreaker for female comics, who were ready to pick on life’s situations.

As a child suffering from chronic pain from migraines, I kept a different schedule than most and was awake most nights. My favorite moments of Joan Rivers came when she would knock-out a monologue and tackle guest interviews while filling in for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" on NBC.

It was probably one of the best gigs of her career. However, she lost it when she agreed to a $10 million contract with Fox for a late night talk show. Carson took it personally when Rivers did not consult with him before she agreed to the deal.

The "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers," was on the air for less than a year when she was fired by Fox as ratings dropped.


IN THE STUDIO: Veteran anchor Joyce Garbaciak will be returning to daily co-anchor duties at WISN-TV Ch. 12. She will be joining Toa Washington and Mark Baden at the 5 p.m. weekday newscast starting on Sept. 8.

Craig McKee, who has been the co-anchor at 5 p.m. in addition to his co-anchor duties at 6 and 10 p.m., will continue to anchor the latter two newscasts with Kathy Mykleby.

Garbaciak has been a contributing correspondent, working on special reporting assignments, for WISN since 2006. Prior to her tenure at the ABC affiliate, Garbaciak was a primary evening anchor at WITI-TV Fox 6 for 17 years.

"I left weeknight anchoring in 2005 to be home with my three daughters, who were in grade school at the time," Garbaciak said.

"When I left, I said that I'd love to return to nightly anchoring when my girls were older and when I'd be needed less at home. Today -- nine years later -- my daughters are all thriving and my youngest is now a senior in high school, so the timing is right. I'm so grateful the people of Milwaukee still welcome me into their homes to share the news of the day. I treasure that trust and I won't let them down."

Garbaciak has served the Milwaukee television market for more than two decades, and in 2012 she was inducted into the Silver Circle, a lifetime achievement honor bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

"Joyce has been an important part of the WISN 12 family for many years, we are thrilled she is now able to expand her role," WISN-TV president and GM Jan Wade said. "She is one of the best, most accomplished TV journalists ever to work on behalf of Milwaukee viewers, and she will bring a whole new dimension to our already top-notch news team."

MOVING ON: Marc Summers, who led the afternoon drive time on WMYX-FM 99.1, has left the station after an eight-month run.

The station has, "decided to move in a different direction in afternoon drive," WMYX programming director Jojo Martinez told the RAMP newsletter.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.