WCCO's Douda bumped to weekends

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2007 - 2:25 PM

WCCO-TV's Dennis Douda is probably thinking that marrying colleague Jeanette Trompter and marketing themselves as an anchor team looks pretty good right about now.

WCCO-TV's Dennis Douda is probably thinking that marrying colleague Jeanette Trompeter and marketing themselves as an anchor team looks pretty good right about now.

Back in May I reported gossip about possible changes at WCCO's anchor desk that might include or exclude Douda. A couple weeks ago, the station announced changes. Douda, who anchored the weekday 5 p.m. show with Trompeter, got switched to weekends.

He's handling it with customary elegance: "All things in context, I'm a lucky and blessed man. I can stay in town where my three kids are. That became a priority. Of course, I really do love my family at WCCO. The station made it very clear that they wanted me to stay even though it wouldn't be in the same capacity."

Thinking I was moving the conversation into a better direction, I asked the divorced anchor with the limpid blue eyes how the search for a girlfriend was going. "That's just gone nowhere," said Douda. "But that's OK because I haven't really been looking. I have so many other writing projects and things going on with my kids, that that's just fine."

If only Douda has listened to newsroom friends who encouraged him to forget that girlfriend search, which started as a assignment on computer romances, and fly to Vegas with Trompeter for a quickie marriage. After all, there seems to be job security in that.

Douda wouldn't take the bait. "There were a bunch of people who appreciated our team and chemistry," he said diplomatically.

While some believe Douda's losing the 5 p.m. newscast to Frank Vascellaro means that clears the way for him to succeed Don Shelby, others speculate that it means no such thing, as Shelby's departure is far in the future.

"Dennis came over and shook my hand when this was announced," said Vascellaro. "He was a gentleman and very classy. Everybody who knows him knows that exactly how he would act. He's nothing but a class act."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.

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