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Minneapolis-St. Paul

Longtime WCCO Promotions Executive Dies

wcco_croppedThe Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks at the legacy of Daniel T. “Tom” Cousins, a longtime WCCO promotions executive who died last month. Cousins, who spent 38 years at the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, was the original architect of the station’s live studio broadcasts from the State Fair:

It was Cousins’ idea in 1968 to build a fully functioning, climate-controlled television studio that would be used only during the 12-day fair. WCCO has been broadcasting live from the State Fair ever since.

Nancy Nelson, who worked as WCCO’s “Saturday Night Weather Girl” for part of her long broadcasting career, said that Cousins recognized the importance of the State Fair, how it related to public relations and how it gave the station the ability to interact with its audience.

“This is the only time that people who view all of our ’CCO on-air folks regularly got to meet them,” Nelson said. “To this day it is an extraordinary presence for WCCO.”

KARE Morning Anchor Leaving TV for Media Relations Job

mcniff kareMorning news anchor Tim McNiff is leaving Minneapolis-St. Paul NBC affiliate KARE.

The station said McNiff will be executive director of media relations for a Minnetonka-based communications company. His last day will be in late August.

McNiff first started at KARE in 1986 as an intern. He was hired as a sports producer in 1993 before working as a sports anchor. He started anchoring KARE11 Sunrise in 2004.

KARE Weekend Meteorologist Leaving Station

sebesta KAREKARE weekend meteorologist Jerrid Sebesta is leaving the Minneapolis NBC affiliate next month to be closer to his family in Sioux Falls, SD.

Sebesta told the Pioneer Press, “This has nothing to do with KARE. I’m leaving on my own terms. I’ve got the best job in the world, but it’s not enough to keep me from going back to be near my family.”

Sebesta started his career at KDLT in Sioux Falls and had a stop at KPNX in Phoenix before coming to KARE in January 2010.

He told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “It’s just an unbelievable feeling to walk away voluntarily at the peak of my career into something that is best for our family.”

Man Sues Second Minneapolis Station for Defamation

kstp5logoA Minnesota man has filed a defamation suit against KSTP for wrongly identifying him as a cop killer.

Ryan Larson is suing the Minneapolis ABC affiliate for a story that aired in November saying he had been charged with the  murder of Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker. Larson had been arrested for the murder, but was later released. Larson sued WCCO earlier this month for the same reason.

“The police arrested and jailed a man and charged him, and we reported that,” KSTP attorney Joseph Roby told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

According to the suit filed last week: The station broadcast a color picture of Larson’s mug shot several times during the 5 p.m. newscast that also featured an emotional interview with Decker’s mother. KSTP reporters Joe Mazan and Todd Wilson said Larson was charged in the crime when he was being held and investigated.

The phrases, “Officer Killed,” “Murder Suspect” and “Officer Ambushed,” used in TV graphics connected Larson to the killing, his suit said.

“The innuendo of an ambush murder by plaintiff Larson broadcast by defendant KSTP was false and unsupported by evidence connecting plaintiff Larson and was intended to sensationalize the broadcast and was defamatory,” the suit said.

“He’s still feeling the effects of it,” Stephen Fiebiger, Larson’s attorney said. “I think he’s looking certainly for some compensation, and to try to restore his name as best as possible.”

You can read the entire story by clicking here.

Aristea Brady Joins KDVR From WCCO

brady_wcco_304Aristea Brady is joining KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver, as co-anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast. She comes from WCCO, the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, where she has been a reporter and anchor for three years.

“She is a familiar face to many of you and to the Denver audience, having worked as a reporter and weekend morning anchor at KUSA several years ago before leaving for Minnesota,” KDVR news director Ed Kosowski wrote in a note to station staff last week. “Aristea is a Colorado native who was born and raised in Englewood. She has a large extended family in Craig on the Western Slope, where they operate a ranch and where she spent summers herding cattle and sheep before pursuing her career in journalism.”

Brady will anchor the 10 p.m. newscast alongside Boris Sanchez. She will also report during the week.

Kosowski’s full note is after the jump. Read more

WCCO Weekend Anchor Goes Part-Time to ‘Reconnect’ with His ‘Real Life’

moddy wccoWCCO reporter and weekend anchor Edward Moody has cut back on his hours at the Minneapolis CBS owned station so he can reconnect with his family.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Moody “asked to go part time, so I could reconnect with my REAL life. I’d been hopping around the country for about a decade, and maybe two years ago I realized I’d basically missed 10 years of the lives of the people I love, chasing this dream. So now I’m using the extra time to be with my partner Up North and see my mom, aunt and grandmother more.”

Moody told the Star-Tribune, “I didn’t want to totally step away from my career, but I needed to pull back. Some people can balance a demanding career and personal life, but I wasn’t doing it so well.”

Moody started at WCCO in 2012.

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.

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