BEST TV NEWSCASTER Minneapolis 2004 - Julie Nelson
8811 Olson Memorial Highway
Golden Valley, MN 55427
In the wake of last year's tectonic shift--Paul Magers's departure from top-rated KARE-11 to the browner--and also greener--pastures of Los Angeles, local TV stations were left angling to fill the vacuum. WCCO, KSTP, and also-ran KMSP responded by going sensationalistic, with pointless live remotes and "breaking stories" about nothing. KARE largely sidestepped this race to the bottom, instead installing the steady, conscientious veteran Julie Nelson in the anchor seat, with Frank Vascellaro riding an amiable shotgun. Nelson, a Wisconsin native who also anchored briefly in Louisville, has long been considered an up-and-comer: She won a regional Emmy in 2000, only two years after popping up on the local scene as KSTP's morning anchor. With her move to KARE, though, Nelson seems to have found her true home. Her bright yet unaffected demeanor and straightforward news-reading style square perfectly with KARE's sober, homey image. Nelson could perhaps still stand to loosen up just a little (though her banter with Frankie V. does suggest a growing rapport). Even so, KARE's faith in her has already been borne out by that ultimate arbiter of television merit, the ratings.