Don Shelby retires from the WCCO anchor chair

Don Shelby: Happy trails to you.

Don Shelby: Happy trails to you.

We've said it before, but we'll say it again: If an asteroid were hurtling toward Earth, imperiling humankind, we'd want to hear the news from Don Shelby. How would the planet's imminent demise affect us locally? We know Shelby would give it to us straight.

Now we have to find someone else to trust, because Shelby's signed off the air for good at WCCO.


In a 10 p.m. newscast filled with clips both serious and funny dating from his 1978 hiring, Shelby appeared to keep his emotions mostly in check while colleagues heaped praise on him, led by a tearful co-anchor, Amelia Santaniello.

As the newscast wound down and Shelby was left alone on the screen, his voice broke a little as he asked the camera be pointed around to the cavernous WCCO studio, filled with colleagues watching his final moments. Then he humbly insisted that his decades of success came only because of their hard work. And with that, the Shelby era ended.

Shelby earned three national Emmys, the Columbia duPont award, the Scripps-Howard Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Service Award and a Peabody Award during his time with WCCO.

Santaniello's husband, Frank Vascellaro, has big shoes to fill when he take's Shelby's place starting tonight.

Watch the closing segment: