Jason Matheson has quit WCCO-TV.
"We are happy to announce that Twin Cities media personality Jason Matheson is returning to his roots at Fox 9 News," read a Wednesday note from Fox 9.
"Jason will rejoin the Fox 9 News Team in March as a special entertainment news contributor. Matheson, who is also the host of My Talk 107.1's 'Jason and Alexis Show,' was with Fox 9 for over a decade and helped launch the 'Fox 9 Morning Buzz' among his many other projects."
"I'm thrilled to come back to my Fox 9 family," Matheson said in the note. "Their energy, spirit and willingness to try new things was always a perfect fit for me. So to come back and be a part of that team was a no-brainer!"
Hmm, new things?
I seriously doubt that Matheson is leaving WCCO just to be a contributor on the show he once anchored, not to suggest that Alix Kendall, Keith Marler, Tom Halden or anybody on the "Buzz" has anything to worry about.
Matheson is expected to reappear on Fox 9 March 23.
Matheson's TV career has had as many twists and turns as a season of "Dallas," his all-time favorite TV soap.
The excitement began behind the scenes at WCCO years ago before he moved to a producer's job at Fox 9. Because he's bigger than life, it was just a matter of time before he was in front of the camera, where he has continued to have great success, rising to become one of the top talents at the station on Fox 9's morning shows. While working at Fox 9, Matheson was allowed to start doing a radio show at Hubbard Broadcasting's 107.1 FM. The radio show took him from weekends to weekday afternoons to morning drive. When he could not come to terms on another TV contract with Fox 9, Matheson left the TV station, maintaining his high profile in the metro through his radio show. After his noncompete with Fox 9 ended, Matheson went to WCCO-TV where he was doing entertainment segments on the 5 p.m. news and taped pieces for the morning show.
In March 2014 I wrote that WCCO had won the local sweepstakes for Matheson's talents.
"I know he was coveted," WCCO-TV news director Michael Caputa told me in March. "We're excited. He's excited. He wanted to work here and we wanted to have him join us. It worked out."
So what happened?
When Matheson added WCCO-TV to his radio job at 107.1 FM, where he will remain, he gushed: "WCCO is where I started. I've always wanted to go back [since leaving in 2000] so today really feels like a dream come true; like coming home. It's where I started when I was 22 listening to police scanners on Friday and Saturday nights. I look at everyone at WCCO like family. Amelia [Santaniello, anchor] is like a big sister. Frank [Vascellaro, anchor] is like a big brother with really good hair," he laughed. "And [morning show anchor Jason] DeRusha is the brother I never thought I wanted." More laughter. "I'm excited to grow as part of the WCCO family."
Word around WCCO is that it's about to start a 9 a.m. TV show — to take the place of Queen Latifah's canceled show — to compete with Fox 9's "Buzz." Hot talk around WCCO-TV is that Jason DeRusha will anchor the 9 a.m. morning show, adding it to his morning show lineup there.
Why do I seriously doubt that that's THE Jason that WCCO-TV wanted to do the new 9 a.m. morning show? All of this underscores my gut feeling that Matheson's Fox 9 redux will be big.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9's "Buzz." E-mailers, please state a subject; "Hello" does not count.