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Anchor Joe Schmit leaving KSTP for media firm

  • June 30, 2006 - 1:58 AM

The prospect of being able to spend more time with his family and also work for one of his best friends was a combination Joe Schmit couldn't turn down.

So on Thursday, the news anchor announced he was leaving Hubbard-owned KSTP, Channel 5, after 21 years to become president of Petters Media and Marketing Group. The Minnetonka-based company is run by Tom Petters and is part of Petters Group Worldwide.

"Tom had been working on me for 18 months to come and join him," Schmit said. "He finally made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It's really tough to leave KSTP. The Hubbards have been terrific to me."

Schmit, 48, whose contract expires at the end of this month, will remain at KSTP through the end of the July ratings. A sports anchor for nearly all of his time at the station, Schmit moved to news in February 2005. His most recent assignment had him co-anchoring the 4, 5 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts.

Schmit was offered a five-year contract to remain. "We definitely tried to keep him," said Rob Hubbard, KSTP general manager.

Schmit had been hoping to land an anchor spot on the 10 p.m. newscast when KSTP reshuffled things in February. However, he was passed over in favor of John Mason. Schmit said he soon realized that it wasn't a bad thing, because he was done by 7 p.m. most days and had more time to spend with his wife and his 14- and 11-year old daughters and 9-year-old son.

"I was very disappointed when I didn't get the 10 p.m., but what it did was open my eyes to what I had been missing," he said. "For the first time in 20 years I was done before 10. I said, 'Wow, this is not a bad life.' I got over that disappointment really quickly."

JUDD ZULGAD

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