Q What is it about being a TV anchor that is so appealing, given the ups and downs you've had courtesy of KSTP and MSNBC?
A I thought about this before taking this job. I got into this business so early and I was so young that it's part of what I do. I was away from it for a couple of years and I remember you asked me at one point: Do you think you can walk away from television? Do you have to be on TV to be happy? I think my answer was "No." What I underestimated over the last couple of years was, it's what I do pretty well, being a reporter or anchor. That's the part that I needed to come back to. I think it's part of what makes you feel like you're contributing. So here I am, back.
Q How have you supported your family since severing ties with MSNBC?
A When I came back from New York I did a couple of shows, "Blueprint for Green" and "Cook What You Catch," at Wall to Wall Media. Almost two years ago I was hired as the senior director of marketing and communications at Cambria, the quartz countertop company in Eden Prairie.
Q I've sensed no bitterness from you despite how you were treated at KSTP.
A No. My contract wasn't renewed in 2003. While I was disappointed because I had invested 13 years with Hubbard [and] felt very close to people in the newsroom, I really felt for them it was a business decision. [There were] a couple of months there where you feel like you've been kicked in the stomach. What helped is that I quickly got a very good opportunity at MSNBC.
Q Did you apply to Fox 9 or were you approached by the station?
A When Marni Hughes left Fox, they contacted me. I saw it as a really good opportunity not only to get back into television but to get back into an environment and a station that I think is a really good situation for me. A lot of veteran people there. I like the product.
Q The only person who can answer this is Marni Hughes, but you are going to be asked over and over again: What happened to Marni?
A And I liked Marni Hughes. Last I heard, she was in Seattle [at Fox's Q13]. In terms of why she left, I have not a clue.
Q How many times did you drop the football when shooting those Fox 9 promos?
A I dropped it one time. I was not 100 percent.
Q What's with that goop in your hair in those promos?
A I'm experimenting. As you know, for many years I had very short hair. This is probably phase three. [I had] fairly long hair when I came to this market -- of course, I was young and it was like an '80s hairdo. Then I went very short [and] I was admonished for cutting my hair by my news director. Stayed fairly short in New York. My lovely wife likes it longer, and I do everything my wife tells me to do. That's why we've been married 27 years. To answer your question specifically, I think there's something called "bedhead."
Q The late nights of anchoring a 10 p.m. show at Fox are going to make preparing breakfast for your daughter more of a chore, I'm guessing?
A When I had those little girls at home -- think back when we had five under the age of 9 -- I was working that same schedule at Channel 5. I would get up with them in the morning because that was the only time I could see them, really. Now I only have one at home, so making breakfast for her is not much of a sacrifice. Those days are going to go by pretty quickly and I enjoy doing it.
They remember when I used to walk them down the long drive way and wait for the bus to come. There are a lot of things I can't get back from the time I worked that schedule -- I missed a lot of dance recitals, gymnastics meets and swim meets. When I can be there, I have to do that. It's something that's important to me.
Q Five daughters. Did you open a Weddings Savings Account?
A We did. Kami and I, we were sitting in front of a financial adviser and it came out we have five daughters. Not only do you have to have an education fund but you need to think about having a wedding fund. The education fund wasn't nearly enough, and it's likely the wedding fund won't be nearly enough. You know what I told them? "It's going to be the same people for the most part, at least on our side of the family. Just all get married on the same day."
C.J.'s Q&A interviews are edited for space and clarity. C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.