Of Heumann Interest: Ann Emmerich’s family broadcasting ties

“That’s my daughter and I’m proud of her.”
One family has produced two notable broadcasters in the state of Michigan.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:30 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - This week’s Of Heumann Interest story is a little different.

It’s not a sports story, but the story of one family that produced two notable Michigan broadcasters.

When I was a kid in Detroit, one of my broadcast idols was a man named Jerry Hodak, who worked for nearly 50 years in the industry. Years later, it was my pleasure to work alongside his daughter, our own Ann Emmerich. I figured it was high time to sit down with dad and daughter together for some perspective.

Hodak started a lengthy career as a news reporter before beginning an iconic stay as a popular meteorologist in Detroit.

During his five-decade run in Detroit, his young daughter drew a picture to use on his weathercast. That daughter has spent more than two decades gracing Mid-Michigan airwaves.

“He encouraged us to do what we wanted to do and to follow our passion and our dreams,” Ann said. “But at the same time, he wanted us to realize the reality of working in this business.”

“I’m not surprised that she is where she is today. She put the hours in, she put the work in. This where she is because of that,” Jerry said. “She still goes in every day and does a good job. She does a great job.”

Jerry had a wealth of experience and contacts, but Ann never tried to use her father’s pull to help her land a job.

“The one bit of advice I gave her was to just be yourself, whatever happens,” Jerry said. “Because you can then be happy with whatever you’ve done. If you’re pretending to be somebody else and it doesn’t work out, well, maybe I shouldn’t have done that. If you are yourself, it’s natural and I think that comes across to the viewers too.”

“I don’t think I would have had the confidence to get as far as I did without just watching him,” Ann said. “He was a role model for me. "

It’s a remarkable era that has now spanned seven decades.

“I have a hard time emotionally dealing with this,” Jerry said. “You know? To watch her at night and say ‘That’s my daughter.’ And I’m proud of her.”

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