Rusty Gatenby’s movie reviews on WCCO-TV’s “Mid-Morning” may not augur a return to local weekday TV.

“I would not be employed or work for WCCO. I work for THE RUSTY GATENBY REVIEW and THE TWIN CITIES HIT SHOW !!” Gatenby told me via e-mail Tuesday before we spoke by phone.

Last week the former KSTP-TV employee of 30 years — whose colorful off-camera tenure was marked by a series of trips to legal before the relationship was severed by the entertainment/traffic guy’s DWI — was on WCCO and he is scheduled to be there again Friday.

“They like my opinion. I like letting everybody know that I’ve got my little podcast. This is the summer season, there should be lots of movies that they’ll want my Rusty Gatenby opinion on and I just tell them you can see more on my review.”

Does Gatenby feel funny about referring to himself in the third person?

Long laugh. “I like Rusty. He’s a good guy,” said Gatenby, who noted, “I am also a guest on Rod Simon’s GO96.3FM Sunday radio show and will be a guest on [My29] ‘On the Fly’ show Tuesday.”

Gatenby is also reveling in City Pages’ Patrick Strait article headlined: “Twin Cities Hit Show Offers a New Take on Morning Shows.”

It’s part of “Sean Barnard’s Alive & Social Network of digital radio shows, that includes Jim Souhan from the Strib, whose podcast is doing quite well, and Jeff Dubay. There are like 14 shows, but we are the only morning show,” said Gatenby. “The Alive & Social Network has a house dedicated to the radio shows. There are offices and studios in there. So we show up there every morning. But then once a week we’re going to take it out and about now that the weather’s turning and we’ve got sponsorships that will pay for us to go to various outdoor patios and lake bars.”

Gatenby is doing the podcast with “a comic musician named Courtney McClean of the Dirty Curls and then a comic former police officer of 18 years named Chuck Gollop. So we’ve got a hippie, a cop and an ex-TV guy, TV legend.”

Gatenby said he thinks his podcast is “nearing episode 50. We go live in the morning but then with a podcast most people listen later on in the day. It’s probably a little saucy for your ears. We don’t have the FCC getting uptight so it’s definitely R rated. It’s fun. I don’t have to go up to the third floor [at KSTP’s Hubbard Broadcasting] and get yelled at should something get too saucy.”

What’s Gatenby’s idea of saucy?

“Saucy in that if something shocks us and an expletive comes out of our lips, that’s just fine,” said Gatenby. “It’s not full of F-bombs but there are a few F bombs.”

He’d better not confuse doing a podcast with being live on TV.

 

Vonn talks Tiger

Matt Lauer is playful enough when he interviews Lindsey Vonn, but to me it always seems the NBC “Today Show” anchor holds back, so as not to jeopardize future access to the Olympian. “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King was not so restrained Tuesday.

“It is fun to watch you and Tiger together. A lot of people are cheering you on, but I am curious about how you met and when you told your family and close friends, I’m going to be dating … What did they say?” probed King.

Vonn said nobody had ever asked that. “He has a foundation, he’s done some incredible work with that. We talked on the phone for months before we ever started dating,” said Vonn. “Definitely people were surprised that I was dating him, but everyone in my family loves him. He talks to my mom all the time. He’s texting my dad when I’m racing. He’s just a really sweet guy, everyone fell in love with him.”

That was a perfect opening for So when are you tying the knot again? But King demurred, instead asking for a surprising tidbit about Tiger Woods. Vonn offered something safe: He’s a great father.

King’s co-anchor, Charlie Rose, asked, “How much of the conversation between the two of you is about competition and winning?”

Vonn said, “About 80 percent.”

 

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.