BEST TV NEWSCASTER Minneapolis 2007 - Don Shelby
Readers' Choice: Don Shelby
Any savvy YouTube user can find a small archive of the venerable anchor as a young pup 25 years ago, when local news was kinder and gentler—or at least less histrionic. Certainly Shelby has gone through many a makeover since then, and outlived all sorts of talking-head challengers. Yet we pick Shelby this year not just because of his longevity, but because of his dedication to the craft. Yes, Shelby practices the craft of journalism, unlike most of his blow-dried cohorts and competitors. We've noticed, for instance, that when there's a big-time journalism forum or workshop, Shelby can generally be counted on to be there. And this year he introduced a new segment to the WCCO 10:00 p.m. broadcast called "In the Know" (even while graciously making room at the 6:00 p.m. newscast for Amelia's husband Whatshisname). Here, Shelby drops his veneer of objectivity and editorializes on events of the day—a rare and welcome moment of news analysis. His comments on such hot topics of the day as immigration and the war in Iraq are sure-handed, smart-headed, and just plain sensible in the era of Fox News shout-fests. You can almost imagine an anchor doing the same thing 25 years ago—hey, maybe Shelby has been watching those YouTube clips, too.