Linda Grasso is a veteran journalist who has worked in almost every medium. She founded SheSez partly in response to the challenges she herself encountered when changing directions.
For more than 16 years, Linda appeared in front of the camera—starting out her career as a TV news reporter and anchor and then transitioning to entertainment reporting. She was a longtime correspondent, anchor and host for E! Entertainment TV. When Linda’s two sons were 6 and 8 years old, she quit her job. “My husband traveled a lot and it just felt like someone needed to be there ‘ruling the roost.’ Plus, I just wanted the experience of being a full-time mom. I wanted to do all the stuff with them that I had missed.”
Then the teen years hit. “With sports, my boys weren’t getting home until 7 p.m. and my husband rarely arrived before 8. I found myself feeling really lonely in the early evenings. I’d literally count the hours until the boys came bursting through the door. It suddenly hit me that everyone was busy with their own lives—but me. And college was just around the corner. It was time to get back to work.”
But it turned out to be not so easy. Linda was shocked to discover how many doors were closed. “I felt like, as a professional journalist, I was at my peak. I had both the experience and the maturity to handle anything. How could just five years as a stay-at-home mom make me unemployable? I started thinking about all the women who had taken 20 years off to raise kids. I couldn’t imagine how hard it might be for them,” Linda says. “As a society, we penalize women for doing the most important job in the world—raising children. I want to help change that. And for women—with or without children—I want to put fresh options on their horizons—no matter what their age or background. In a long, productive life, lived to its fullest, we should always seek out new experiences and avenues.”
Linda ultimately found a new path as Editor-in-Chief of Ventura Blvd magazine, which covers lifestyle in California’s San Fernando Valley and host of the SheSez podcast.
“I wish I knew back then what I know now. It would have been so much easier. You get these negative things in your head. ‘I’m not what they’re looking for; I don’t have anything to offer; I’m irrelevant in a changing workplace’. Women need to quash those thoughts and go for it. My entire life I had waited for someone else to give me or something I wanted to do a greenlight. I ultimately decided the power to greenlight was mine. It essentially came down to: ‘Who says I can do it? I do.’”
Linda’s sons are now attending college. She lives in Encino with her husband of 24 years, Charlie Koones.