Aristea Brady is having a great, if bittersweet, week between winning Saturday’s “Dancing with the Twin Cities Celebrities” and Monday’s announcement that she’s leaving WCCO-TV to return to her beloved Colorado.

Some years the best celebrity dance performance doesn’t win this Arthur Murray Charity Fund event, but that wasn’t the case in 2014, with Brady’s winning samba. There is of Brady that is sure to be popular with the site, which features Aristea in more clothes than she wore on the dance floor.

“Aristea worked very hard training and for those [who] saw her commitment, there was little surprise to see her as a victor,” read a Monday e-mail from news director Mike Caputa, which also announced Brady’s departure. “As you know, Aristea is from the Denver area and her husband [Nathan] has a business opportunity in the area and Aristea is excited about the prospect of being closer to family. Aristea has been a fantastic reporter and anchor for us and we’ll miss her contributions. … Her last day at WCCO will be March 8.”

Brady came to WCCO-TV in July 2011 after two years as a weekend anchor and reporter at KUSA in Denver.

“You said it best when you said ‘bittersweet.’ That’s exactly the sentiment that I’m feeling,” Brady told me Monday. “I’m excited to go home and be with my family — big fat Greek family, kind of like the movie. But I am also sad to leave a second family at WCCO. This is by far my most favorite station where I’ve ever worked. Not only do we deliver a great product, it has the best caliber of people I’ve ever been exposed to in journalism. From the leading lady [anchor Amelia Santaniello] and man [anchor Frank Vascellaro] to [sports anchor] Mark Rosen, they set such a precedent of grace and kindness. We really are a family. Twenty-three people from WCCO came to Vail, Colo., for my wedding. They were in as much full-force as my family. I have cried to my husband. I am almost fearing that my next station won’t have the same sense of family. When Mark Rosen’s mother died, we were all there. When a photographer lost a baby before it was due to be born, WCCO filled the church. … It’s going to be a tough place to leave.”

WCCO colleagues are bummed, too.

One told me Brady is a good newsroom person. Translation: She plays extremely well with others.

Interestingly enough, before the charity dance event I was at a gathering where there was a fair amount of unexpected Aristea chatter.

What’s with the name? I was asked.

It’s Greek and it’s a flower, I informed those asking me questions. “I didn’t know that until I Googled it,” said Brady, who also said “It’s a long-standing family name.”

Was some young producer trying to sabotage beautiful Brady by not telling her to smooth her mane over exposed hair extensions? asked another.

I didn’t notice. “So funny,” laughed Brady. “I had them for a short period of time, right around the time of my wedding, for a look. I wanted a more formal look and then after the wedding was over, I removed them. I find it far easier to control my hair without them, for those women thinking of hair extensions.”

My only complaint about Brady’s mane is when it blows around, becoming a distraction to her and viewers in live shots of a serious nature, such as a murder scene. Don’t want to look like news reporter Lady Godiva.

“Pull it back!” Brady said. “I have since done that more because I actually noticed in a live shot the same problem. I have invested in some clips.”

Now, I hear that blowing hair won’t be a problem at her next job because she is destined to be behind the anchor desk.

Scoop? “You’re telling me news there and I’m not just saying that,” said Brady. “It really is yet to be determined. Wow. To that person I would say ‘Call and tell me that!’ I definitely hope to stay in the business pursuing both anchoring and reporting.”


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