“I’m just shocked. These guys out there move fast,” said now former “WCCO This Morning” anchor Jamie Yuccas, who announced Friday she is leaving the station to join CBS in New York City.
“I had a good job here. This is my home,” said Yuccas, for whom the decision to jump to the network was made “a little easier” when her mother and stepdad moved from Minnesota to Arizona in the spring.
A Maple Grove girl and U grad, who always wanted to return to WCCO after interning there, Yuccas said when she finally landed a job at her favorite hometown station in 2011 “I, with my husband [John] slept in my mother’s basement in Maple Plains when I moved back here. That was an adventure.
When the NY job offer came, Yuccas said her husband, “my biggest cheerleader,” reminded her Jaime you have talked about this since the day we got together.
So the husband is ready to roll but cautiously. He advised her to “get my feet wet and see how things play out. He’s already sending me e-mails about apartments. He’s excited, planning our life there. He said, Did you see that John Oliver’s show is right next to CBS? I’m still in shock.”
“You said something to me a long time ago about this happening,” Yuccas said. Yes, somewhere, in my Twitter history is a tweet where I said she was network material. The comment was inspired by a report she did for CBS along the Mississippi, I believe. She did another stellar job when CBS flew her to the East Coast to report.
“I think when we had lunch you said it [again],” said Yuccas.
Our conversation devolved into a few minutes of You don’t know that you’re an exceptional reporter?
The fact that Yuccas was never sure this dream would be realized is the reason she works so hard, she told me. Interesting how Yuccas didn’t see herself as network timber. I can name a few of her colleagues who have an unjustifiably high opinion of their talents.
Yuccas said her new bosses may make the transition a little easier by first having her work for the network out of the WCCO-TV building. Even when she moves to New York, Yuccas said she expects some “packages,” as they call stories, that she does for the network to appear on ’CCO noon’s newscast.
Since the only thing for sure about NYC is that Yuccas’ living arrangements will be more cramped, she said she’ll be “giving away more stuff than packing. I see Ikea runs in my future.”
She also is looking forward to introducing her mother and brother to NYC, a city neither has ever visited.
She’ll probably also get a few visits from her WCCO pals, although I don’t know if Yuccas fully understands how much more hectic her life is about to become.
“We’re excited for Jamie,” WCCO-TV news director Mike Caputa told me. “This is something she has dreamed about.”
Caputa said he is not worried about his morning show losing ground with Yuccas’ departure: “Kim Johnson, our traffic reporter on our No. 1 rated show, will take Jamie’s place [alongside Jason DeRusha], and Ali Lucia will take Kim’s place” at the traffic map.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.