Ernie Bjorkman is used to delivering the news—not being the leading story himself. But that’s what the popular anchorman became when he followed his lifelong dream to work with animals.
After 26 years as a television journalist, Bjorkman was let go last year from Denver’s News2 as a result of a merger of two stations. Fortunately, Bjorkman had already begun pursuing another passion, his love of animals, three years earlier. Not knowing if he was up for the eight years of schooling it would take to become a veterinarian, 57-year-old Bjorkman set his sights on becoming a veterinary technician. Now, finished with his training, he’s set out to find a new job and lifestyle. As a technician, Bjorkman will see a significant pay cut—80 percent—from his past six-figure job. But that doesn't matter to Bjorkman, who says the work he'll be doing as a technician will be priceless.
Bjorkman is currently on the job hunt, but he’s not alone. When the comedian and talk-show host Ellen Degeneres got wind of Bjorkman’s story, she decided to offer an incentive to clinics to hire him—a year’s supply of pet food worth $5,000 from Halo, Purely for Pets, a natural pet food company of which she is co-owner. Degeneres announced her offer last week on her show when she had Bjorkman appear to share his story.