Apparently, she'd been hired by CBS News and decided to get a perm, but the stylist over-processed her hair, and she wound up having to chop it all off. She says, "I wore a hat to work, and kept wearing it for several days because I didn't want anyone to see my hair. When everybody did, they were shocked. Two weeks later, the president of CBS News said to me, 'We've got an assignment — we're sending you to Chicago.' I said, 'OK, when do I come back?' He said, 'You're not coming back.'" However, while in Chicago (still wearing the hat, of course) Meredith began doing her first big stories about heartland farms affected by the early 1980s recession, reporting in to Dan Rather for segments that soon made her a well-known face to Americans everywhere. "Not that I'm suggesting the road to success is a bad perm," says Meredith, "but it certainly helped me."