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Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minnesota Man Sues WCCO For Defamation

wcco setA Minnesota man has filed a defamation lawsuit against WCCO, the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, for a series of reports identifying him as the killer of a police officer.

Although Ryan Larson was arrested and jailed for five days in connection with the officer’s death, he was never charged. Another man who was a person of interest in the case later died by suicide, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Larson, who now lives in Long Prairie, contends two tweets by a radio reporter and separate news reports wrongfully pointed to him as the cop’s killer and said he was expected to be charged.

According to the lawsuit, reporter Chris Simon tweeted on Nov. 30: “Chief Phil Jones of Cold Spring PD salutes slain officer Tom Decker Shot by welfare suspect Ryan Larson.” A second tweet stated: “The BCAs Drew Evans confirms officer Decker was ‘ambushed’ when shot twice and killed by Ryan Larson.” Read more

‘Last Straw’: KARE Anchor Walks Off Set After Hearing Snow in Forecast


KARE anchor Rena Sarigianopoulos wanted viewers of the Minneapolis NBC affiliate to know she has had it with winter.

During Saturday’s 10:00 p.m. newscast, meteorologist Laura Betker told viewers there might be snow for the Twins’ season opener, Sarigianopoulos protested by saying “No way! That’s April 7th.”

Betker’s apology wasn’t enough. Sarigianopoulos threw her copy in the air and walked off set. She came back after Sports, though.

She told viewers on facebook, “Don’t get me wrong…I love winter. This year has been particularly brutal with the cold though. When I heard her say snow on opening day???? LAST STRAW. I wasn’t expecting that! It’s baseball and sunshine time.”

WCCO Adds Kim Johnson as Saturday Morning Anchor

kim Johnson_wccoWCCO isn’t done making moves. In addition to bringing back Jason Matheson, the Minneapolis CBS owned station has also hired Kim Johnson as its Saturday morning anchor.

According to the Pioneer Press, Johnson will join WCCO from KTVX in Salt Lake City on May 12.

She replaces Aristea Brady, who left the station earlier this month.

Jason Matheson Returns to TV, Joining WCCO

matheson_croppedJason Matheson left his TV job for radio last February. Now he’s announced he’s coming back to local TV and is joining Minneapolis CBS owned station WCCO.

The Pioneer Press reports Matheson will contribute live reports to the 5:00 and occasionally the 6:00 p.m. shows as well as taped pieces for the morning show.

“I’m so excited,” Matheson told the Pioneer Press. “It was always the plan to come back to TV and mentally it was always the plan to go back to ‘CCO.”

Matheson started his career at WCCO. He worked for KMSP in Minneapolis for more than a decade before leaving when his radio show on MyTalk 107.1 FM switched to mornings. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Matheson’s non-compete contract with KMSP expired March 1.

Matheson said he will continue to host his radio show.

Aristea Brady Leaving WCCO

brady_wcco_304WCCO anchor and reporter Aristea Brady has announced she is leaving the CBS owned Minneapolis station.

“It’s with bittersweet sentiment I tell you my husband and I are moving back to our beloved Colorado,” Brady wrote on her facebook page.

“As you know, Aristea is from the Denver area and her husband [Nathan] has a business opportunity in the area and Aristea is excited about the prospect of being closer to family,” WCCO news director Mike Caputa told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Aristea has been a fantastic reporter and anchor for us and we’ll miss her contributions. … Her last day at WCCO will be March 8.”

Brady started at WCCO in July 2011 after working at KUSA in Denver. She has also worked for KTVX in Salt Lake City.

Jennifer Mayerle Set to Join WCCO

jennifer mayerleJennifer Mayerle is joining WCCO, the CBS owned station in Minneapolis, Access Atlanta reports. Mayerle makes the move after eight years at WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

Mayerle, who will be a reporter at WCCO,  wrote on Facebook: “It’s the station where I had my first internship, the station I grew up watching, and the station I wanted to work at if I ever decided to live and work in Minneapolis. While bittersweet, I couldn’t be more excited to be joining such a great team.”

Mayerle will sign off in April, according to Access Atlanta. Before WGCL, she worked at WKRG in Mobile, Ala. and KWES in Midland, Texas.

Another Minnesota Reporter Sues Over Driver’s License Privacy Breach

JayKolls300KSTP reporter Jay Kolls has added his name to the growing list of Minneapolis on-air talent who are suing various Minnesota municipalities and the State Department of Safety over accusations law enforcement officers and others looked at the information on his driver’s license without justification.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, Koll’s lawsuit, which was filed in Minneapolis Federal Court, listed 27 instances when “personnel, charged with protecting and serving the public, knowingly abused their position of trust simply to satisfy their shallow desires to peek behind the curtain” into his personal life.

Last week, KMSP morning news anchor Alix Kendall filed a similar lawsuit. Her attorney Jon Strauss told the Mankato Free Press, “[Kendall] was shocked and disgusted to learn she had been looked up more than 3,800 times.” Strauss added, “We believe this is the largest data breach in Minnesota history. Ironically, these people have been snooping into her life, but we can’t find out who they were until we start gathering discovery information.”

The suits revolve around access to the state driver’s license database knows as the Driver and Vehicle Services Database or DVS system.The Free Press sums it up nicely:

Information that can be obtained through the DVS system includes current and former addresses, current and former driver’s license photographs, weight, height and, possibly, Social Security and medical information, Strauss said. The filing also points out that Kendall’s information was searched by name, not by her license plate numbers. So the searches didn’t include police officers doing random traffic searches for stolen vehicles or people with arrest warrants.

In August KMSP anchor Dawn Mitchell sued around 50 Minnesota governments in federal court over similar concerns.  KSTP investigative reporter Beth McDonough filed her lawsuit in July. Read more

Rusty Gatenby Allegedly Left KSTP Because of DUI

RustyGatenby300Yesterday we told you Rusty Gatenby was out at KSTP.

While the Minneapolis-St. Paul ABC affiliate wouldn’t say why the longtime reporter had suddenly left the station, today we find out he had been arrested for DUI in January.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, Gatenby had a blood alcohol level of .134 at the time of his arrest.

Gatenby told the Star Tribune he was “very” embarrassed by the arrest. “I’ve had a clean record my whole life,” Gatenby said.

He said he was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop a few miles from his home and reminded readers, “Right now, I haven’t been convicted of anything.”

Yesterday Gatenby confirmed on his his facebook page that he was gone, but didn’t mention the arrest, “Hey everyone.. well it’s true.. after more than 30 years at KSTP I am moving on. I have nothing bad to say, in fact, I feel truly lucky for the amazing times I’ve had. I challenge anyone to have had more fun at a job than I have. I hope to see you all again down the road. In the meantime, I’m going to take a long long nap.”

Rusty Gatenby Out at KSTP

RustyGatenby300KSTP has confirmed Rusty Gatenby is no longer with the Minneapolis ABC affiliate.

Gatenby started working as a reporter at KSTP in 1987. News director Lindsay Radford wouldn’t say why Gatenby left the station.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which first reported the news, said Gatenby’s departure comes as a surprise. “It is believed that he had one of the highest Q Scores — ‘a measurement of the familiarity and appeal of a brand, company, celebrity or television show used in the United States,’ according to Wikipedia — of all Twin Cities traffic reporters.”

KARE Adds Colorado as Morning Reporter

colorado_kareMinneapolis-St. Paul NBC affiliate KARE has added Melissa Colorado as a morning reporter.

Colorado comes to KARE from KOAT in Albuquerque, NM, where she was a general assignment reporter.

She started her career at News 12 in Westchester, NY.

[Pioneer Press]

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