Since WCCO-TV's Jason DeRusha rarely sees a social platform he doesn't like -- @DeRushaJ or @DeRushaEats on Twitter; Jason DeRusha on Facebook; derusha.tumblr.com -- I wonder how he gets any work done for the station?
"#Good Question," as the main reporter for that franchise often denotes his tweets.
Then there's the weekend anchoring and gala emceeing and wcco.com/jasonblog and a Minnesota Monthly food column, plus obligations to a wife, Alyssa, and their sons, Seth, 7, and Sam, 5.
"I occasionally go on television to talk to people," the peripatetic blogmeister noted with a smile.
The DeRusha output puts most media people to shame. And yet the TV job he said he'd really like floored me, although I do believe he has the distinctive voice for it.
I caught up with DeRusha at the pre-party for the Upper Midwest Chapter of the Emmys, for which he serves as president -- naturally. Yes, there were questions about the size of the DeRusha ego and the faint return of hair to his head, which didn't show up well on my startribune.com/video.
Q How do you balance all you do in a day? You must be highly efficient?
A I am pretty efficient, but I have a lot of help. My photographer for "Good Question," Jose Pascual, works really fast to kind of keep everything together. I also work all day. I start working as soon as I wake up 7 a.m. At WCCO my shift starts at 2 p.m.
Q What time with your sons is sacrosanct?
A The time that I love the most is when we're reading at bedtime, and the worst thing about my schedule is that I work at night. So I only get a couple of opportunities to do that. Today we were at my son's soccer game and the phone was put away and I'm watching the game. That stuff is really fun. My oldest son has just started riding bikes. We've been taking him on little bike rides. That's a good time.
Q What household chores does Alyssa insist you do?
A I'm in charge of mowing the lawn. I deal with snow. Everything outside. She will tell you that inside the house, I'm in charge of making a mess. I'm sorry.
Q How do you feel about your newsroom reputation for having a big ego?
A I do have that reputation. It bothers me a little bit. The funny thing about being on television is that you have to have some ego, right? You put yourself on TV, you ask people to believe you. They don't know you. That takes some ego. I've always thought most of my ego is with a wink; I've always tried to do it in a self-deprecating way. I hope people know that I'm confident in my own ability, but that doesn't mean that I think I'm better than anybody else. If people think I'm egotistical about myself, that's fine with me; I'm a confident guy. But I hope they don't think it in kind of a mean way -- that I think I'm better than others.
Q You've seen bigger egos than yours around that newsroom?
A Throughout my career, my ego is minuscule compared to some of the people I've worked with. I don't need to name the names.
Q Oh, I've got a couple of names for you! (And I whispered them into DeRusha's ear.)
A Correct and correct; absolutely correct. Your information is good.
Q Whose TV job would you like to do?
A I always wanted to host a game show. If I could take over for Drew Carey, host of "The Price is Right," that would be awesome. Or even be the announcer. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be the "Come-on-down" guy.
Q You are unfailingly pleasant. When are you grumpy?
A I told my wife, about two hours ago, that "I'm not in a good place to make a logical decision," because when I got dressed to come to the Emmy Awards, I took my tuxedo pants out of the closet, and there is a big rip right on the seam of the crotch. My first thought is, "Last week, when I was hosting the People Serving People fundraiser, was I walking around the whole night with a big rip?" Then the next thought is, "I've got two hours. I need to find someone to sew this up, and luckily I did." We're good.
Q Do you ever give your wife the silent treatment?
A She's more the quiet one. She'll sit there and stew, and I'll say. "Are we going to talk about this or do you just need time?" I've learned to stop trying to fix it, so I can give her some space. But I'm not a big silent treatment guy.
Q How many hours of sleep do you require at night?
A I feel like I only need about six, but most nights I'm generally in bed by 11:30 p.m. and I'm up at 7 a.m. I get some sleep.
Q Have any of the new hairs I saw at the State Fair taken root?
A [Breaks up laughing.] Take a look. I asked my wife that last night, "Are you seeing anything." She said, "Well, there's a little fuzz." They told me that it's like having a baby. It takes nine months until it's all done. We're at about three months.
Q Did you borrow from your children's college fund to pay for the hair-restoration project?
A I was storing up all of the income from Minnesota Monthly. ... We joked and called it my hair fund. So I did have a hair fund.
Interviews are edited for space and clarity. C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on FOX 9.
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