It is only a slight exaggeration to say that this magazine might well not come out every week were it not for Ann Callahan.
You won't find her name on the masthead, but Ann has served as secretary and assistant editorial executive to two managing editors. This is a tour of duty that has lasted more than 20 years, and if by now Callahan doesn't actually run SPORTS ILLUSTRATED—Managing Editor Roy Terrell does that—she helps run Terrell. "She has a marvelous sense of anticipation," he says. "I never have to tell her what to do. In fact, she usually tells me what I should do next."
She is also positively extrasensory. Although Callahan cannot see Terrell from her desk, she has an acute sense of what he's doing and whether or not he can be interrupted. Many a staffer has approached the boss' door only to hear Ann say gently, "Not now." Terrell has left no such order, but Ann is an accurate barometer of his moods and the pressures upon him.
When a late-closing story must be handled in Chicago, where the magazine's plates and engravings are made and more than half the press run is printed, a small army of staffers is deployed there, and it is Ann who arranges for airplane reservations, including the customary three or four schedule changes, hotel reservations (upon which no two members of the staff ever agree), the cars to meet film couriers, etc. She intercepts the people constantly phoning Terrell; helpful and charming, she switches them more or less painlessly to the appropriate department. She manages expense money on weekends, when the business office is closed, and she is involved with staffers' travel schedules, vacation plans and a lot of personal problems, knowing all and saying nothing. She could probably run the presses if the need arose.
From the foregoing one might conclude that Callahan is a grimly efficient machine. Efficient, yes. Grim, never. This is a knockout lady—vivacious, stylish, endlessly accommodating and terrific looking (see above). One might also gather that after nearly 24 years with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, she must be nearing the age of retirement, but the fact is she joined the company as a mere child of 17. She grew up in Queens, N.Y., graduated from Mary Lewis Academy and attended Wood Secretarial School at night. After a short stint as a Time Inc. office girl, she joined SI as a typist in the letters department. When, in 1957, a secretary was needed, Ann got the job, and has had it ever since.
In 1966 she married Michael Callahan, an advertising salesman for TIME magazine who is just a bit shorter than Bill Walton and played some hoops himself at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md. They live in Croton, N.Y. and have a 7-year-old daughter, Victoria. As for sports, Ann plays tennis on her days off, and three mornings a week she rises at dawn, reaches Manhattan by 8 and attends an exercise class. "When you sit at a desk all day, you have to do something," she says.
Peculiarly put. What Ann does is sit at a desk and do everything.