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BEST TV NEWSCASTER Minneapolis 2005 - Cyndy Brucato

Readers' Choice: Don Shelby

Yeah, yeah, we know about her work as a flack for Republican politicos, a pharmaceutical giant, and Big Tobacco. Blurring the lines between PR and journalism has made Brucato the ultimate insider of the local TV dial--and not in a good way. But the sad commentary on the state of the local anchor is this: Cyndy Brucato came back last summer after a nearly 20-year absence and put her competitors to shame. Not that there isn't plenty of reason to bemoan the return of the brusque, clipped delivery that earned her the nickname of Cyndy Staccato in her salad days. Trouble is, her blow-dried, shallow competitors seem more shallow and blow-dried than ever: Don Shelby's sold out beyond recognition, Robyne Robinson's diva act is tiresome, and Julie Nelson's smarts and talent have been wasted since she jumped into the warm, fuzzy arms of the KARE bear. Maybe it's the absence of Paul Magers that leaves us so cold, but it's more likely that we've finally seen the end of the Dave Moore era. Brucato, oddly enough, seems a throwback to that period when anchors thought about what they were reading, eschewed cutesy chitchat, and acted like real people. And she's been seen asking reporters questions that they don't already know the answers to--a refreshing indication that Brucato isn't afraid to go off script. We never thought we'd say this, and it pains us to do so, but: Welcome back.

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