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.

Comments (49)


    1. lynne says:

      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!

  2. CyberHmoob says:

    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.

  3. Susan says:

    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.

  4. Dave says:

    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!!!!

  5. Dave says:

    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!!!!

  6. Dan says:

    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

  7. Jenna Olson says:

    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!

  8. Becky says:

    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.

  9. JP Miller says:

    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.

  10. Mark says:

    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!

  11. Jennifer says:

    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!

  12. KAMMI says:

    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!

    1. Diane says:

      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.

  13. KG says:

    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!

  14. Diane says:

    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.

  15. jefe says:

    What You’ve Been Missing

  16. Susan Wimmergren says:

    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”

  17. Tony Cushingberry says:

    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

  18. Jez says:

    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.

  19. Jaimie says:

    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!

  20. Joe says:

    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.

  21. David says:

    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!

  22. heather says:

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

  23. Jennifer says:

    Well done good and faithful servant.

  24. Daniel says:

    Thank you.

  25. alfaniner says:

    Don’t forget his lasting contribution to the sartorial arts — the Shelby Knot!

  26. Reed says:

    I have been a fan of yours since you came on the scene at WCCO. You were a great replacement for Dave Moore and have made him proud. You have been through many changes and have never let it affect your delivery. I will miss your smiling face each night. Good Luck, God bless, stay healthy!

  27. Craig says:

    Listening to Don’s last newscast brought tears to my eyes. It was so heartwarming, and absolutely class act. The fact that he mentioned his close friend and mentor Dave Moore, and never forgot his wisdom and teachings was so moving…. Don’s words of “you can trust these people” subscribed me to the fact that there are still honest and integrity driven WCCO journalists.

    Don will NOT be forgotten, he is loved by many people home and abroad. He changed lives every day, he spoke from the heart, and never missed a moment to laugh. I grew up watching Don (and Dave Moore), and felt I had a better understanding of my home town, and the world around me.

    He never talked down to us viewers, and as he looked into the camera last night I could see the genuine man that is Don Shelby. Don is unique, he is hysterical (just watch how he and Paul Douglas interact), and gives of himself.

    Thank you Don for your 30 years on WCCO, thank you for making us viewers safe in your words, and thank you for your honestly. Dave would have been so proud of you.

    Finally I would name Don Shelby one of the greatest journalists and news anchors. Right next to the great Walter Cronkite. And that’s the way it is!

  28. Christine says:

    I grew up watching Don Shelby as a child because he always captured my attention. He has done so much for the community and I know he will continue to be involved in the background. Thank you, Don and God bless you.

  29. John says:

    Goodbye DFL Don! Thanks for the many years of one sided reporting. Chilly and Don gone in one week. WOW!

  30. Mary says:

    God Speed, Don. May you be blessed with many happy years ahead.

  31. Jim and Char says:

    It must feel “good to know” how much you”ll be missed and to know–without a doubt– you’ve made a difference. You must have many plans of things to do and people and places to visit which have been long delayed. Enjoy your retirement, Don Shelby!

  32. Travis Smith says:

    You were the best Don. Smart, gracious, realistic, enlightening, etc………. What more can the viewer ask for?

  33. Colleen says:

    I grew up with you Don. I will miss you! Thank you for putting your heart into your work each day for us. Have a wonderful and full retirement!

  34. Everett says:

    It’s been a pleasure watching you; it was a genuine mid-western thrill to meet you; and it’s very sad to see you go. A gem in a sea of pebbles….

  35. sj fiegen says:

    Dear Don; you have meant so much more to me and others in recovery…what a great role model for so many!!! i thank God for you…

  36. Linda says:

    Thank you for all the years spent in our living room. Thank you for the comprehensive, enjoyable, trusted coverage of the news. We will miss you. Blessings and happiness on this new page of our journey.

  37. Rick C says:

    Cheers! It was a pleasure!

  38. Cheryl Stevens says:

    Hi Don,
    It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago, when I thought all was perfect at WCCO. It was in my opinion- The Dream Team-You, Amelia, Frank, Rosie and Paul D. First, it was Paul to leave-that was upsetting enough, and now you are retiring. I think you know, as well as the other folks at WCCO, that you guys had a ‘once in a lifetime’ on air magic. Never to be duplicated or copied. Other stations have tried for years to create that on air magic and they just can’t quite figure it out. We as the viewers saw that and felt it when we tuned in to watch you on tv or listen to you on the radio. Take care Mr. Shelby-best wishes and enjoy retirement!

  39. Shelli Beaudin says:

    Don, you will be sorely missed…

  40. nikki jones says:

    i did not know this man..but when ever i would watch the news, he seemed very real, not fake..i like him..i grew up in chicago watching ron majors and mark suppelsa…don i want to find out, do you have a personal realtionship with Jesus Christ? if you great and Godbless u..but if you dont all you have to do is just call on his name don, he loves you very much, he died for you, for your sins…all you have to do is repeat these words, Jesus would you please come into my heart, Lord i know that you died for me, i know that i am a sinner lord, please forgive me of all my sins…In Jesus name i pray..amen…Jesus will never leave you don..Godbless u and all of your family……Nikki Jones….ps if you are looking for a great spirit-filled church, i go to a great one, called Crossroads Church, in burnsville, mn on countyb rd 42 right behind abdallah choclates..pastor Cj and Cheryl and the congragation would love you to come to one of our sunday morning services @ 10:30 am or wendesday night services At 6:30 pm….please come you’ll surely enjoy it…

  41. Patti isaacs says:

    Don is proof that good-looking people don’t have to be shallow. I’ll miss getting my news from Don but look forward to what he will do next with all his energy, smarts, and time.

  42. Jen S says:

    Don – You were always a welcomed guest in our home every night. My family and I will miss you very much. Good luck to the future and thanks for everything!

  43. Neal De Jesus says:

    Don & Colleen we’re reunited at WCCO-TV 22 years ago Pat Miles quited WCCO-TV and went to KARE-TV11 in 1989 21 years ago Don & Pat we’re reunited at WCCO-TV 25 years ago 1985-2010.

  44. Judy Shelby Kiproff says:

    To my coursin Don – we have always been so proud of you and love you very much. Congratulations on a wonderful career. You are truly a special man. Love, Judy

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