And now an interview that is a true measure of Rusty Gatenby, the former KSTP-TV traffic and entertainment reporter. Gatenby and Hubbard Broadcasting parted ways after more than 30 years a few weeks following his disclosure to bosses that he had been arrested on suspicion of DWI. It’s not a laughing matter to this funny guy, from whom I got a serious statement regarding how thankful he is to still be part of Feb. 22’s fifth annual “Dancing With the Twin Cities Celebrities” charity ball at the Minneapolis Marriott. That statement and how he measures up are part of my startribune.com/video, in which Gatenby is not wearing one of his ugliest sweaters.
Q Do you know how to let yourself be depressed, when a situation warrants that?
A Yes. I don’t like that feeling. I’ve experienced emotions recently that I never thought I would be experiencing. Even before my departure from KSTP there was stress and issues going on in my life that I never thought I would be experiencing. Now the emotion I feel is fear, every time I’m on the dance floor.
Q What did you learn from traffic reporting that changed your driving habits?
A That you never know when you could be in trouble, like black ice. People are driving at highway speeds thinking they are fine and there’s black ice suddenly their whole world goes spinning. How’s that for a metaphor.
Q Will you missing hobnobbing with Hollywood stars?
A Tough to say. My immediate reaction was yeah. Hopefully, I’ll be back. I’ll do that again. The other part of me is Who haven’t I talked to? Go through the list. I’ve talked to Paul McCartney three times. Mick Jagger. Tom Hanks. Paul Newman. How many hotel rooms can you stay in? I’m kind of OK with Let’s move on.
Q You are now kind of like the stars you cover?
A Am I? Wow. [Laughter] Meaning? arrogant?
Q What could you do next that would match what you’ve done?
A I’ve got a couple of projects I can’t talk too much bout, that would be nationwide, as far as entertaining.
Q How soon did you hear from your close personal “Modern Family” friend Steve Levitan?