Michele Tafoya/photo by Brian Peterson

Michele Tafoya, best known for her night-time shift as an NFL sideline reporter, is adding to her duties.

She has joined Tom Barnard as co-host for the KQRS morning show, one of the most successful radio programs in Twin Cities history.

"We're thrilled to expand Michele's role to co-host," said program director Scott Jameson. "She's a terrific, local talk talent we're happy to have more of."

Note the term "co-host." Terri Traen, who booked guests for the show and served as Barnard's on-air frenemy, was a prominent player during much of the show's 30-year run, but I don't think she ever got such a lofty title. She shifted to afternoons earlier this year after ongoing spats, both on air and off, with Barnard.

Tafoya is a bigger deal. She has covered NFL games for NBC since 2011 and previously worked sports for CBS and ABC. She can still make a splash -- whether she wants to or not. Her Twitter dispute with comic Franchesca Ramsey went viral last month.

"Radio is such a fun, free-flowing platform where we can talk about anything at all, and Tom makes it easy," Tafoya said in a statement.

How much of an impact Tafoya will have is uncertain. Her workload may be a factor . An attempt to host a drive-time program on WCCO radio ended in 2012 after just three seasons. She is not planning on giving up her football gig.

And can Barnard share the spotlight? Their on-air conversations in recent years, punctuated with gently ribbing, suggests he can. On the other hand, the host has been criticized in the past for comments perceived as sexist, although he's doing a better job these days staying out of woodshed.

"From the first day I met Michele, I've wanted to work with her on a full-time basis and now I am happy to have that chance," Barnard said in a press release.

Tafoya started the new shift this past Tuesday.


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