Recap: Don Shelby’s Final Newscast

Thirty-two years later, the ride of a lifetime is over.

Don Shelby signed off for the final time on Monday, ending his longtime career of anchoring the WCCO 4 News at 10 p.m.

Shelby was hired at WCCO-TV in 1978, to co-anchor the weekend news with Pat Miles. Not long after, he was named main anchor at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. While known mostly for his anchoring, it’s his contributions to investigative reporting through his I-TEAM reports that have made him legendary.

After numerous awards and a countless number of memorable stories, Shelby is on to the next chapter: Retirement. He retired from NewsRadio 830 WCCO on Dec. 11, 2009. Monday night, he retired from television news as well.

Though he hasn’t given any specifics on what he’ll do with all his free time, Shelby assures us all that he won’t be far — and will even be popping back into the WCCO-TV studios from time-to-time.

Before he said goodbye, Shelby’s old friends and former co-workers came back to help him wrap things up. Monday night, Pat Miles joined Shelby, Tuesday, it was Colleen Needles, Wednesday it was Paul Douglas and Thursday, it was the person he’s anchored with the longest — Amelia Santaniello. Former KARE 11 anchor — and rival — Paul Magers even stopped by via satellite to wish Shelby well. CBS News anchor and managing editor Katie Couric also interviewed Shelby.

Three of Shelby’s past coworkers, former WCCO reporters John Reger and Jeanette Trompeter, as well as Shelby Rhodes, former WCCO assignment desk assistant and daughter of current WCCO crime reporter Caroline Lowe, sent Shelby a video wishing him well from the set of their current employer, KSBY in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

On Monday, Shelby said goodnight in his final newscast. Watch the complete video, in segments, below.

First, Shelby, along with long-time co-anchors Amelia Santaniello and Mark Rosen, gave the news of the day.

Then, fellow WCCO anchor Frank Vascellaro told us about Shelby’s life, from growing up in Indiana, to joining the U.S. Air Force, to starting his long and prestigious career in television journalism and the things that happened along the way.

Next, Santaniello told us about a day in the life of Shelby, beyond what he does from 10 to 10:30 every weeknight. A 12-hour day for him is as action packed as an episode of “24” is for agent Jack Bauer.

Believe it or not, when Shelby isn’t relating the serious news of the day, he can be a bit silly. Here are a few such moments we were fortunate enough to catch on camera.

Did you know Shelby grew up playing basketball? On the Bolling Air Force Base in 1970, he played point guard. He’s known for his assists, and might spin a basketball on his finger if you ask nicely. Rosen told us about the memories he has of Shelby as an athlete and basketball enthusiast.

Finally, at the end of the newscast, Shelby said goodbye to WCCO viewers and his colleagues at the station. He thanked viewers for inviting him into their homes, and promised them the colleagues upon whom he has relied would carry on the standard of his predecessor, Dave Moore.



    • lynne

      I so agree, Don is a staple to our state’s news and it’s sad to see him go. Hope he makes periodic appearances though!

  • CyberHmoob

    This home will miss you. You brought us trusted news & made us feel safe for a long time.

    Wish you the best of luck in your next adventure.

  • Susan

    I cried like a baby. I am not alone in wishing Don Shelby all of lifes riches, but wanting to thank him for all that he’s done for our community and most of all, the most trusted station we have. Good job, Don. May you have continued health and happiness in all that you do.

  • Dave

    Thanks Don, Youve been on my TV my entire life. You were there when i was born and when i was up at the cabin as a child watching the news with my grandpa who passed in 1993. You even got to come to college with me…Im 28 years now and youve been in my living room for all 28 of them! Thank you for all your hardwork and dedication. You trully are a great person! May you have happiness in everything that comes your way in your next chapter in your life. Thank you Don!!!!

  • Dave

    Thanks Don, You’ve been on my TV my entire life. You were there when i was born and when i was up at the cabin as a child watching the news with my grandpa who passed in 1993. You even got to come to college with me…Im 28 years now and you’ve been in my living room for all 28 of them! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. You truly are a great person! May you have happiness in everything that comes your way in your next chapter in your life. Thank you Don!!!!

  • Dan

    Minnesota legend Don Shelby Thank you You will be missed and remembered on television and on the radio with Jeff McKinney. You are one of my heros. Dave Moore,Johnny Carson,Roger Awsumb (Casey Jones) and Clancy the cop, John Gallos. Enjoy life and thanks again for the memories. Dan

  • Jenna Olson

    Many thanks for the years of selfless service to our community, and best wishes for the future! Thank you for being a dear friend to all of us at home, and sharing your talent and passion with us all.
    Blessings, joy and happiness in the many years to come!

  • November 23, 2010 « CBS Minnesota – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Minnesota

    […] Don Shelby’s Final Newscast We have the full version of Don’s last newscast here […]

  • Becky

    Don, You have been part of my family all of my adult life, Thank you for a job well done, You will be greatly missed. Blessings on your journey.

  • JP Miller

    Don you are the best. You are an uncommon person who made the common person feel comfortable and welcome, wheather in person or on the air. I’ll be 60 soon and I can not ever remember a time when I didn’t watch WCCO News.
    I loved Dave Moore, but I grew older with you, I had a deeper connection with you.

    Our paths crossed a few times over the years and you were always a gentleman, always showed interest and always were respectful. You will be missed by me and many others, not only for who you are, but because we wont be far behind you.

    Best wishes in your retirement and thank you for all you have done for Minnesota, our state is better because you passed our way.

  • WCCO anchor Don Shelby retires…he said goodbye to his colleagues and audience Monday night : Media News At This Hour

    […] …from Minneapolis and WCCO:  […]

  • Mark

    The best was seeing the WCCO family of Don’s (all his fellow employees) there to wish him well. A fitting tribute it is to be celebrated by those who work at your side every day. We should all hope that the people we work with would feel so compelled in our own workplace. Best to you in retirement Don!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you, Don, for bringing us the news in such an appreciative and inspiring way for all these years. The chemistry between you and the WCCO team always brought a feeling of warmth to us viewers. You will be missed greatly! Wishing you many more fortunes in your time of retirement. God Bless!


    Thanks Don for many wonderful years! I will miss watching you! I really enjoyed your final news cast but was very disappointed with WCCO bringing up the fact that you were under the influence of alcohol during one of your news casts. Shame on you WCCO, that was uncalled for. That is personal and should never have been mentioned.

    Good luck and everything you do Don!

    • Diane

      I would think that Don knew of this and was okay with it. He is the type of person that is okay with others knowing that he is human and makes mistakes along with all of the rest of us, and Frank would never do something like that if he thought it would upset Don.

  • KG

    Thank you for all that you have given this town and the world of journalism. You’ve been on tv since before I was born and I always thought of you as a stand in for my own absent grandfather. Its always been reassuring to see you on the news, I’ve always been able to trust I was getting the highest quality of news. As I graduate in few months from the school of journalism at the university of minnesota I am proud to say that I learned a lot from you in the classroom and in everyday life. Best of luck to you!

  • Diane

    Don, thank you for being such a good and reliable person. When Dave Moore left I thought no one could replace him and you didn’t, you continued on and now I feel the same way about you, no one can replace you. May you and your family have health and happiness in all you do. I wish you the very best. You will be missed. God bless you.

  • jefe

    What You’ve Been Missing

  • Susan Wimmergren

    Don thank you so much for being who you are..We will miss you and your humor. We will miss your honesty and compassion for other people..You are one of Gods chosen people..
    Hang in there “One Day At A Time”

  • Tony Cushingberry

    Wow . .like most of Minneapolis I grew up with Don Shelby and cant believe the ride is over . .I wish you well my friend. You will be missed . . but never forgotton. Keep in touch . . I’m sure your next chapter in life will be a good as your long anchorship at WCCO.
    A long time viewer now in Dalas Texas

  • Jez

    Don and all the CCO team have been part of our little family since we moved to Minneapolis in 2005, having known nothing about your newscast team and living in corporate housing, we found ourselves drawn to a news program the likes I have not seen since living in the US (I’m from the UK). You made us feel welcome, and helped us form a deep love for Minnesota and it’s people with your sense of humour, compassion and delivery of the news. I look forward to switching on the TV when I get home from work at night and seeing Don, Frank, Amelia. You’ve made our transition here very special and easy and I want to thank you for that, I am and always will be a CCO devote.

    Thanks for the laughs Don, you’re a very special man, you will be missed in our house.

  • Jaimie

    When I was young and the 10pm news would come on, I would always ask my parents to change channels if it was anything other than WCCO. I called it the real news; as in, “No, Mommy put the real news on.” Going to bed without watching Don Shelby and Colleen Needles was just not an option.

    Now I am an adult, and although I don’t know what sparked my devotion to WCCO at such a young age, I still continue to get the “real news” from them each and every night. Thank you, Don, for all the years of quality and consistency–you absolutely deserve a fantastic retirement!

  • Joe

    As a cub reporter learning the ropes of TV news back in the early 90s, I was doing a live report for another MInnesota CBS station using the WCCO satellite truck. Before my live shot, I watched (in amazement) as Don did the entire A-block of news live on location for WCCO viewers with no script – just a clipboard and a general roadmap for the newscast. He conducted the elements of that newscast like it was an orchestra. It was stunning. He was cool under pressure, rock solid on the air and an amazing professional. But moreso, he actually took the time to help out a young punk reporter who was nervous as hell about doing a live shot out of the big ‘CCO satellite truck. Don took time to provide guidance -and some calming words. It was much appreciated, and never forgotten.

  • David

    I grew up on channel 4 news. My father would turn it on religiously I remember him calling us into the room when Dave Moore did the skit about the snow that builds up om the fenders of our cars. He always said if he ever had an issue he was gonna call channel 4.. He never did call but he always made me feel like channel 4 was where people went for the truth. I’m 41 years old and I tune in to channel 4 for the truth everyday.. Truth be told.. I’m gonna miss Don He’s the one person who has always been there to tell it!

  • heather

    you are great and wonderful person at channel 4 and wcco radio. good luck and been miss

  • Jennifer

    Well done good and faithful servant.

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