Don Shelby retires Nov. 22; Frank Vascellaro lands gig

Amelia Santaniello's smiling here, but there were tears later
Amelia Santaniello's smiling here, but there were tears later
Courtesy WCCO

Don Shelby's looming retirement from the WCCO anchor desk hasn't exactly been a secret. The only unknowns were, "When?" and, "Who takes his place?"

Both questions were answered this morning: Shelby will sign off from his regular 10 p.m. on-air shift on Nov. 22. Frank Vascellaro will slide into the icon's old seat the following night, the junior partner in a co-anchor team whose other member just happens to be his wife, Amelia Santaniello.

"You are my family," Shelby told the hushed co-workers assembled just a few feet from the anchor desk he'll be leaving behind. "And here I've found the best friends of my whole life. And the best friends I will ever have."

I've had a good run. A great run. Forty-five years total. Thirty-two at this station," he said. "I have been at WCCO TV than I have been alive anywhere else."

Shelby was hired by WCCO back in 1978, taking over from another Twin Cites broadcast legend, Dave Moore. He's 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 tenure.

Vascellaro came to WCCO in 2006 after nine years anchoring at KARE 11. At first he co-anchoring with Santaniello at 5 p.m., and then at 6 p.m. The couple will now hold down all three news broadcasts.

Shelby laughed off a suggestion that he might be entertaining a career switch to governor once he leaves the station. His only plans, he said, are to spend time in a hammock and do some fishing.

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