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C.J.: Frank is fretting: What will Amelia say?

  • Article by: C.J.
  • Star Tribune
  • June 18, 2012 - 8:10 PM

"I can't wait to get ripped on national TV by my wife and four other women," said WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro, sounding as though he could, in fact, wait 100 years or so.

Vascellaro is thrilled, and genuinely so, about his wife and co-anchor Amelia Santaniello's scheduled appearance on Wednesday, June 27, on "The Talk" on CBS. He's just not confident that after this installment of the show, which airs locally at 1 p.m., his image will be quite the same.

"You know I'm not joking," said Vascellaro, who had a prediction: "That's going to be a big theme: Oh, we hear you work with your husband? And then Amelia is going to start telling them about all the idiosyncrasies I have and I'm going to look like a lunatic. But I'm excited for her. She'll do great."

Santaniello is flying to Los Angeles to tape the show hosted by Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, Sheryl Underwood and Sara Gilbert. With Chen taking vacation time, CBS is using substitute talent from its various properties, including its owned-and-operated Twin Cities station, WCCO. Former KARE11 anchor Paul Magers, who now works for the CBS station in L.A., will fill in on "The Talk" on Friday, June 29.

As reported on Friday, the excitement over this assignment caused Santaniello to have a momentary lapse in judgment and ask Vascellaro's opinion regarding wardrobe.

"Her asking me to help with clothing is like asking an arsonist to put out a fire. I am worthless," he said.

That's true, but you're a world-class talker on myriad subjects, such as The Who.

Producers on "The Talk" should Skype in Vascellaro so he can defend himself. "You know, I don't even want to," he said. "Let them have at me. If my CEO Les Moonves [who is married to Chen] can take it, I can take it."

Lance can't lap Vincent

Chef Vincent Francoual no longer need worry about being humiliated by how fast Lance Armstrong finishes Sunday's Ironman France Triathlon.

The seven-time Tour de France champ has been barred from the French Ironman competition because he now faces formal charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. I interviewed the owner of the Nicollet Mall restaurant Vincent before Armstrong got dq'd. "If I'm lucky enough I might see him when he is finishing and I am starting my marathon," said Francoual, explaining, "It's 2 1/2 miles swimming, followed by 112 miles of biking followed by a marathon, which is 26.2 miles."

Vincent said he has not gotten Ironman confused with Iron Chef. "Maybe one day Iron Chef but right now Ironman -- and my last one, too," said Francoual. "I did it last year in Nice and then one in Idaho. I'm trying to stay in shape."

French food with an American influence can be fattening.

Francoual told me he plans to wear the T-shirt I gave him that reads, "I WANT A TSA AGENT WITH A SLOW HAND," to the airport. A photo of him in that shirt, which always guarantees me first-rate service, might be tweeted by @VincentMpls.

Will Brown be back?

Could it be that WCCO-TV bosses might not be too upset about losing Lindsey Seavert because they think they're getting Heather Brown back?

Newsroom chatter that Brown, who left WCCO in October 2010 for a job at WNYW-TV, is returning is not accurate, she told me Monday. "No, no. I have a contract here until October. I'm getting married [in Minneapolis] in two weeks to a St. Paul guy, but not coming back," said Brown. "No, I'm here for a while. And I love it here. My family's here. Right now there are no plans to head back that way. Like I said, I am under contract through this year."

Humm. "Through this year" is not the same as "until October?" Felt as though obfuscation was taking place, as is her right, and the clouds didn't clear when I asked where she and Joe the Real Estate Guy will live after their marriage. "He's looking for a job that gives him a little flexibility to be out here. We are going back and forth trying to figure out what our plans are. We don't have any plans in place right now. He's just a wonderful person and I'm so excited to be [marrying] him."

Heather and Joe started dating before she moved to NYC.

While Brown is a strong writer and a hard-worker, with, I hear, anchor aspirations, she is not considered in the same class as Seavert, storytelling wise.

When Seavert's contract, lacking a non-compete clause, was up, KARE11 put on a charm offensive -- no doubt making the point how one good Emmy-winning storyteller, Lindsey, could benefit from being around another Murrow awards winner, Boyd Huppert.

"It's my first day back [from being out of the country] and I saw Lindsey when I walked in," Huppert told me. "So happy to see her. I may sneak a look over her shoulder and learn some things from her. She's exceptional."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or 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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