On Tuesday, a source told me updates in KARE 11 anchor Diana Pierce’s LinkedIn profile read like someone making a career change. On Wednesday, her retirement was announced.
I couldn’t reach Pierce, who was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcast Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009. However, she is quoted in a KARE 11 release: “The timing for me is excellent. I’ve been looking for new challenges. My years in broadcasting have brought me incredible opportunities to interview people, from ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tremendous leaders.”
According to a Facebook post by anchor and weather guy Pat Evans, Pierce’s exit was part of a voluntary retirement package that claimed 10 valued co-workers, including Allen Costantini.
Evans called Costantini “one of the best reporters in the market. Period. He’s a serious journalist and deserves every award on his shelf.”
My source said a LinkedIn notification of Pierce updating her skills included red flag changes. She updated her skill set to include social media marketing and noted leadership honors and awards. I am told those are clues someone is looking to do something else. I mean, what does a broadcaster care about updating their social media marketing? In this case maybe that was not that strange, since Pierce enjoys the tech stuff, admitting she is a nerd.
The release states that Pierce will graduate from Augsburg College later this month with a master in arts and leadership degree. “The program at Augsburg gave me exactly what I wanted to add to my skill set for a new adventure,” Pierce says in the news release.
In September 1983 Pierce was paired with Paul Magers at what was then WTCN. In the early days, nobody was watching. She was the elegant, gracious presence alongside of Magers, not that he lacked grace, when their popularity soared, making them the No. 1 anchor team in the metro.
“The two worked together for 20 years, until Magers left for a job in Los Angeles in 2003. Over two decades, Paul and Diana became one of the most popular anchor duos in Twin Cities’ television history,” read the news release, which called Pierce a “cornerstone of the KARE family since coming aboard in 1983 as a news anchor. Most recently, she’s co-anchored KARE 11 News at 11 a.m. and KARE 11 News at 4 p.m.”
In a 2012 interview, Pierce smoked a cigar and talked about the ways in which she’s a nerd for my video. At that time she had not read “50 Shades Grey,” about which she had interesting observations. Now she has the time.
See you around, Di.
‘Jason Show’ gets national Fox tryout
Maybe Jason Matheson will be on “Dish Nation” Thursday talking about his “Jason Show” on Fox 9 getting a national tryout on various Fox stations.
On Tuesday Matheson tweeted about being on “Dish Nation” and “Hollywood Today Live” with Ross Mathews. Matheson made a joke about one of those “Housewives” shows being worth watching because a cast member has new boobs, and Mathews said, “This is the kind of stuff you talk about on your new show.” Matheson talked up the regular-people angle of his show, which will celebrate an anniversary this August, and then Mathews led the witness beautifully: “What about the people who don’t live in Minneapolis and want some more of this?”
At that point, Matheson could’ve said: Thanks for the leading question!
“This is the first time I’ve said this on TV, so this is like a little fun moment. We found out the show is getting a national test in June, to the beginning of July. So it’s going to be on Fox stations across the country.”
On Wednesday, a Fox spokesperson in NYC told me, “The markets are not yet confirmed. Once all the details are set I will send them to you. May not be for a few weeks or so.”
I’m sure it will air in LA and New York. Then you have to pick at least one big market in the South and another in the Midwest, such as Chicago.
Matheson’s show has been beating CBS’ “The Price Is Right” and ABC’s “The View” at 10 a.m. in the Twin Cities, but lots of other variables come into play in other markets. In the Twin Cities, where he also has a FM107.1 radio show, Matheson’s fans have a special attachment to him.
One tweeted that she started crying when Matheson revealed his big news. Carrie Pitsenburger, a wife, mom, CDI insurance biller and Twitter’s @connorsmom444, told me she cried again while watching a replay.
“I am so proud of him; I can’t tell you how proud I am of him,” said Pitsenburger, who said Matheson has been delightful both times she has met him.
“He’s like a best friend in my head,” said Pitsenburger. When I reminded her that was a Wendy Williams line, Pitsenburger reminisced about Wendy’s national tryout.
If things go well for Matheson, we can only hope to keep his show in the Twin Cities. This may, however, be a way to show other Fox markets how to create a local show that’s not celebrity intensive.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.