Sometimes it’s a bit cliché, but who ever they are say 50 is the new 30. As I close in on 50, one of the things that still gets to me is when my contemporaries pass. I got that news (again) today when I found out Judy Martin passed away. Judy was a friend for more than 20 years and this is a moment that gives pause for life, memories and perspective.
The funny thing about my relationship with Judy over the years (and I think this applies to many who knew Judy), there were moments where our paths crossed and moments where we didn’t see each other – but then when we reconnected it was as if it was just a day ago.
Judy and I first crossed paths at News 12 Long Island – as she was leaving to begin a new chapter in her life and I was just getting there to start a new chapter in mine. It was four or five years later before life brought us together again, this time I was at CBS Radio and she was at NPR. With a hug and a kiss we caught up and went about our work that day.
And that was kind of how Judy was. Focused on her job, caring about the people she met. For anyone who was in New York for 9/11, you know the sense of change your life took. That moment changed Judy (for the better) and those that she touched. Judy’s brand was born.
By that time, I was back at News 12 Long Island helping to launch digital platforms and evangelize the conversion of a linear television network to embrace on-demand content. Judy and I spent hours talking about what the future of news would look like and the future of the business we were in.
Beyond that, Judy was a great friend. She was a great sounding board as I considered an offer to leave News 12 and begin a new challenge at CBS News. She was also there in the weeks and months after Risa passed. Listening and helping me re-focus my life and sharing lessons she had learned in building her brand so I could build my own.
I think anyone who ever met Judy would admit when she came into a room, her smile was infectious. If you spent any time talking with her, you would understand how her spiritual outlook meshed with her passion of balancing work and life.
In the end, Judy is gone too young, but in the end I can say I am better today for having her as a friend. So in this moment all of Judy’s friends can take a pause for life, memories and perspective – and while we lost a good friend we share some great memories.