The list of broadcasting giants that almost worked in the Twin Cities is impressive: David Letterman. Walter Cronkite. Jimmy Kimmel. Go ahead and add Bob Dotson to the list.
You may not know the name, but for 40 years, the reporter filed emotionally packed features -- some tear-jerking, others hilarious - for the "Today" show. He was the closest thing NBC has ever had to Charles Kuralt.
Turns out he was almost one of us. Dotson, who retired last month, revealed the tidbit Friday night during his keynote speech at the "2016 Ignite Your Passion Workshop," It was sponsored, in part, by the National Press Photgraphers Foundation and KARE-TV.
Dotson said he was weighing job offers from WCCO-TV and a station in Okalahome City in the late 60s, in hopes that he could do documentary-form stories. The WCCO brass told the young reporter they didn't have the time or interest in such a luxury.
Dotson went to Oklahoma. During his seven-year run in the Sooner State, he picked up a national Emmy, a rarity at the time for someone working in local markets. The NBC network scooped him up in 1975.
Dotson would go on to win every major TV award out there and has authored several books, including "American Story."
Attendees at the two-day workshop, held at the Science Museum in St. Paul, were primarily TV photojournalists, but Dotson's advice resonated with all kind of storytellers, urging reporters to embrace silence and let sources fill in the blanks and admitting that sometimes the best question is "Huh?!?"
That's probably the way WCCO brass reacted over four decades ago when they finally realiized the opportunity they had let slip through their hands.