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.