It can be definitely reported that former anchor Heidi Collins has no intention of talking to me about her exit from Fox 9.
To Bill G., BillLinda, Ardi, Jim E., Chris L, Scott W. and others who’ve e-mailed and telephoned: I’ve been trying to reach Collins, whose time at the station ended while she was on vacation in July.
I wanted to ask if she agreed with this assessment: Your tenure at Fox 9 ended sooner than expected because you couldn’t get the CNN chip off your shoulder. You reportedly seemed somehow above local news.
The Minnesota native, who had worked eight years at CNN, was at the Fox 9 anchor desk almost three years. She had one infamous moment on air, the scolding, “I ask, you answer, yes?” interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
I could not get her phone number, so I mailed a letter to the residence Collins shares with her husband and two sons. In it I asked her to do a Sunday Q&A, in which I would give her the opportunity to say goodbye to viewers. No response. On at least two (maybe three) occasions I drove to her home and put notes in her mailbox when nobody answered the door. I was in her neighborhood enough to become friendly with one of her neighbors.
Last Sunday I was at Eden Prairie’s Grace Church, where 3,900 came to see members of A&E’s family-friendly “Duck Dynasty” cast, Si and Al Robertson and Mountain Man. Their near-sellout appearance was a fundraiser for Southwest Christian High School in Chaska and Chapel Hill Academy in Chanhassen. While leaving the event, I discovered a different, more direct route to Collins’ house.
The house looked as empty as it did the other times I had been there, but I decided to ring the doorbell before putting another note in the mailbox.
Two little boys answered the door. I told them I was looking for Heidi. A man appeared, and they told him I wanted to talk to their mom. When I identified myself, the man said in a stern tone, “Have a good day” and closed the door.
I said thank you and drove over to talk football with my new friend, their neighbor.
Maybe Collins will give an interview to one of the magazines. Many have been curious what she’ll do next since the statement she released after leaving the TV station read, in part, “I have decided to explore new opportunities. I am blessed to have several opportunities both in television and global business to pursue.”
Word is the departure may not have been Collins’ idea. Some broadcast insiders don’t think Collins’ public image ever recovered from her November 2010 Ritchie interview, which was described as “insanely hostile” by City Pages’ Kevin Hoffman.
The only time I saw Collins at Fox, we crossed paths one night in the makeup room. She was charming. Last time I saw her was the night she won a local celebrity dancing competition, which showed a softer side. She was solicitous toward me.
Despite Collins’ laudable involvement in nonprofit work supporting our troops and their families, I do know that she was not well-liked around the newsroom. If Collins remains in the Twin Cities, our paths will cross, and when they do, I may ask about her people skills, at which time I may find out why it’s been said that Nothing chills a room like Heidi.
Auctioning off the ring
The Christie’s auction of the engagement ring Kris Humphries gave to his ex-72-Day-Wife, Kim Kardashian, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. NYC time today.
“It’s available at Christies.com on Christies Live,” PR guy Gabriel Ford told me Monday.
Although the bauble was being called a $2 million ring, it will likely go for $300,000 to $500,000 (unless those Kardashians plant people in the audience to goose the bidding).
Humphries made fun of his heartache on a recent episode of Fox’s “Mindy Project,” playing himself as a new member of the “Getting Over it Gang,” who sweat it out at a gym and whose mantra is, Just because we don’t have wives doesn’t mean we don’t have lives.
If only Kim’s new partner, Kanye West, could become the personification of the phrase self-effacing.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.