Contact: Bronwyn, Esme, and Me

Budd's got a new friend in the news business
Nick Vlcek

As far as Budd Rugg is concerned, the WCCO empire is our own local media Valhalla. If your adoring correspondent could break into any building in town and take up residence in a restroom stall, he would choose the offices of the Hometown Team. For that reason it has been positively wrenching to hear of the terrible infighting at Channel 4 lately; I think I understand better the recent anguish experienced by my mother's old Catholic friends.

Fortunately I possess inside knowledge that leads me to believe any so-called "problems" at WCCO-TV will shortly be a thing of the past. Why? Because these people are just too nice not to work things out. Budd Rugg knows, because he is now personal friends with two of them. In recent weeks he has exchanged e-mails with 'CCO luminaries Bronwyn Pope and Esme Murphy.

See for yourself.

Bronwyn Schaefer Pope
Director, Public Relations and Community Relations
90 S. 11th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hello Budd--

Congratulations on your new column. I was going to give you a call, but I was unable to get a phone number for you from City Pages--what is a number where you can be reached? I have been told that you may write in a future column about a photo request I received related to your column.

If you do plan to write about this I would be more than happy to talk with you first. I hear your column opens with Esme this week--please feel free to give me a call if you are interested in a photo for that piece.

Thanks. I look forward to speaking with you.

-- Bronwyn


Hi Bronwyn,

Thank you so much for your kind note. And let me say right up front: My goodness, you have a lovely name! Didn't I encounter you in a Jane Austen novel once upon a time? My relationship with City Pages is still in the early and terribly tenuous stages, and I haven't yet been provided with any of the expected "perks" and luxuries--including, unfortunately, a telephone. I would give you my home phone number, but I feel certain that you do not wish to speak to my elderly mother, who will talk your ear off and get confused. I will make an attempt to contact you via telephone the next time I actually find myself in the offices of City Pages.

Personally, I have a growing suspicion that the editors at the paper are using me, but far be it from me to complain about something that I have secretly desired for years and years. All I've ever wanted to do is stare at the stars of the local media. Well, that's not strictly true, of course, as dozens of celebrities past and present could testify. If I can shake someone's hand, that's thrilling. A hug is even better. I'll admit to you that I've had my photograph taken with scads of local media folk over the years, and have also accumulated thick scrapbooks of candid snapshots of these people.

I am not willing, however, to let the people at City Pages meddle with my scrapbooks in any way. The person who calls himself the art director at the paper wanted to actually remove photographs, notes, and other personal souvenirs from my scrapbook for reproduction, which is unacceptable to me.

I have always had nothing but positive experiences with the people who hand out publicity photos and other thrilling promotional goodies at the various newspapers and television and radio stations in the Twin Cities; obviously in the past I have made such requests purely as a fan, and perhaps my new position as a "member of the media family" complicates things a bit from your perspective. I don't doubt for a moment that you have every reason to be suspicious whenever someone from a "rival" outlet requests photos of your "talent." I'm sure that I would be suspicious as well if someone were requesting a photograph of Esme Murphy.

Rest assured, however, that City Pages has no intention of attempting to steal any of your employees, and it is certainly not Budd Rugg's intention to slander in any way the people I have worshiped from an admittedly resentful distance all these years. My goal is simply to celebrate the lives and lifestyles of the Twin Cities' dizzying cast of media superstars. I want nothing more than to ingratiate myself to each and every one of them, in the hopes that I might secure their friendship, or at the very least a nanny position at some point in the future.

I would be eternally grateful if you would be so kind as to honor our requests for photos. I do have a decent collection of personal photographs of Esme Murphy, but they are unprofessional, to say the least, and in many of them she is either almost wholly unrecognizable or looks frightened. None of them, unfortunately, does her any kind of justice, and if Budd Rugg knows anything about Esme Murphy it is that she is a fierce and relentless crusader for justice.


My best to you and yours,

Budd Rugg


Esme Murphy

Dear Bud [sic] (can I call you Bud?)--

I just wanted to correct something in your column. I always return phone calls. How do you think I get my stories? Did you leave your name and number when you called? If you had I would have called back immediately. I just want you and your readers to feel free to call, write or e-mail me any time.


Esme Murphy


Dear Esme,

What a wonderful thrill to receive your e-mail! As my dear mother would say, you can call me anything you'd like, just don't call me late for dinner! I apologize for not responding immediately, but I was in Branson, Missouri, visiting one of my oldest and dearest friends, who is a dancer at the Andy Williams theater there. Have you ever been to Branson? It's fabulous! I've never seen so many buffets. Perhaps we could make a trip together sometime and make a documentary for public television.

The people at City Pages insist they are going to set me up with a telephone, but they're still dragging their feet. Not a very good sign, I don't suppose.

I feel certain I left a message for you with a receptionist there, but I also must admit there is a possibility I called the wrong station entirely. As much as I adore you, I still have a horrible time putting the names with the station numbers. It's all so abstract to me. If you have a direct number I'd be more than happy to pass it along to my readers, and to issue a full apology as well as an invitation to call you at any time with story ideas and tips. Anything I can do to help!

Here's a story idea of my own: I came home from Branson to discover that there was a nest of pink baby mice in the cushion of my couch, and I immediately called 911. The woman I spoke to refused to dispatch anyone to help me out, and I don't know what to do. I'll admit to being terrified of mice, and until I figure something out I'm staying with a friend in Fridley. Any help or suggestions you could provide would be much appreciated. I'm going mad at the thought of a family of mice taking over my apartment. I feel certain you understand.

Hope this finds you smashing. You're one of the real, everyday heroes in the Twin Cities.

Your number one fan,



P.S. Do you like to cook? I have a sneaking suspicion you're dynamite in the kitchen. Also, do you have children? FYI: I can't really cook at all (but I keep trying!) and I don't have any children.

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