Exit Interview with Maryann Jorgenson

By Miles Leicher

After over 40 years in “the biz,” audio technician Maryann Jorgenson is set to retire. After Friday’s show, we asked her to reflect on her career and give us a sneak peek at what’s next.

Miles Leicher: Maryann, this was your last episode of Real Time! How was it?

Maryann Jorgenson: Well, it was not without its usual challenges.

ML: Oh yeah? Such as…

MAJ: Well, we had our issues tonight of everybody being late to come down and having to get miked at the very last second, so we’re chasing behind them, trying to get mikes on them – and that’s just typical; we’re used to it, we’re ready for it, we know it’s gonna happen. So it was pretty much just a typical night.

ML: Well, you’re a pro…or at least by now you should be, right?

MAJ: After 40, well, 44 years in the business I should be able to handle it.

ML: 44 years, that’s amazing!

MAJ: I started in 1968, which was probably long before you were ever born.

ML: It was, but it still counts. What was the first show that you worked on?

MAJ: Oh, well I started at CBS, but in radio, and I started at KNX – the AM news station – and from there moved to KNX FM. From KNX FM, I moved to KCBS Channel 2, and from Channel 2 I moved here [to CBS Television City, where Real Time is taped].

ML: Do you have a favorite show that you’ve worked on? Aside from Real Time, obviously.

MAJ: Well Real Time is definitely, pretty much at the top of the list.

ML: Oh, good. 

MAJ: Because I love Bill Maher, I love the show, I love the vibe of the show, I love the people who work on the show – and that’s what makes it the best, is the people.

ML: Any other contenders?

MAJ: Well The Price Is Right, of course, is a lot of fun, and I’ve worked on that for 25 years and had a blast doing that.

But I’ve worked on Wheel of Fortune, I’ve worked on Win, Lose or Draw, I’ve done PBS specials, I’ve worked with Carol Burnett – and of course there’s nothing better than working with Carol Burnett.

So those are the ones that are probably at the top of my list because they’re the ones that come first to mind.

ML: And do you have a favorite person that you’ve ever put a microphone on?

MAJ: Oh, well, hmm. I can tell you my favorite story is un-miking Scott Bakula. We were doing some sort of a variety show and basically his battery, or his mic pack, had fallen in his underpants and I had to go dig it out for him.

ML: That was no accident.

MAJ: That was no accident – that was fun.

ML: Anything you’re going to miss around here?

MAJ: The people. Absolutely the people. Because that’s what makes this business, is all the fascinating, interesting and fun people.

ML: Well it’s been very fun working with you. What are you going to do next?

MAJ: I’m going back to northern California. I’m a horse person and I raise and train horses, so I’m going up there. I bought five acres and I’m going to continue doing my dreams with animals. I’ve already planned to rescue a dog, so I’m going to have a dog as soon as I find one.

ML: So you’re all set.

MAJ: All my ducks are lined up. I’ve just gotta do it.