Fox 9’s Shayne Wells was just fine not being on camera.
When she was producer of “The Jason Show,” I would look at her and wonder why she was not on air. She’s very attractive and witty and game.
Turns out she can dance. One day while doing a segment on Jason Matheson’s Mim Davey show that had her outside with an umbrella, she was asked to take the viewers into the audience with dancing. Gene Kelly would’ve been impressed with what she did as “Singin’ in the Rain” played.
Since then news director Mim Davey tapped Wells to be the traffic person on “The Fox 9 Morning News.” Many days after she completes that job, she is in the field being a reporter or daredevil for “The Jason Show.”
She has even subbed for Jason, showing the kind of chops Joan Rivers did as Johnny Carson’s permanent fill-in host.
She’s doing it all and well, but she is not all that confident about her mothering.
The one thing I’d like to accord Wells is a sense of peace with this motherhood stuff.
Her 2 ½-year-old daughter Kerris, a name that combines the grandmothers’ names, is a handful. But that’s her job!
In my video there is a run-through by a couple of kids who didn’t have good home training and really wanted to be on camera, almost taking out my camera and mike. They did say “excuse me,” while running by equipment they probably couldn’t have afforded to replace.
We were at the Little Gym in St. Louis Park, were Kerris takes gymnastics classes. Afterward we went to a nearby Yogurt Lab, where Ryan, Kerris’ dad and Wells’ husband, joined us.
Kerris is running the show these days. Her mom doesn’t expect to have the upper hand until her little girl becomes a highly trackable teenager, thanks to all that new technology.
Q: Why were you ever a producer? You should have always been an on-air talent.
A: [Laughs] I have done everything you can do in news at this point. I like all aspects of it. I was fine not being on camera, and I enjoyed producing. In the end I ended up on camera. I didn’t plan for that to happen.
Q: Do most producers really want to be on air?
A: I think some do, but many want nothing to do with it. We have a few of those [at Fox 9].
Q: Do you get blamed on the street for traffic or road construction the way meteorologists get the heat or nasty comments because of the weather?
A: Absolutely not. I used to do the weather in Grand Junction, Colo. It’s totally different. [With traffic] they are totally understanding; with weather you can never be right.
Q: If you could give motorists one piece of advice during inclement weather, what would you tell them?
A: You’ve got to slow down. I watch people on these [traffic] cameras zooming by or traffic’s almost stopped and there’s someone trying to use the side lane [going] 80 miles per hour. This is not going to turn out well. I watch a lot of bad drivers.
Q: Do you subscribe to the belief that to stop a vehicle safely you need one car length per 10 mph you are traveling between you and the car in front of you, OR do you think you only need three seconds?
A: I think you are supposed to have three car lengths at least. Depends on how fast you’re going. My mom always wants me to put more space between cars.
Q: Why hasn’t MnDOT painted those dotted lines so people know what lane they should wind up in after turning off 212 W. onto Valley View Road, near the station in Eden Prairie? (There is a turn sign with arrows to the left that nobody follows.)
A: I am not MnDOT, but there are definitely some areas I’m going, “What are we doing here? Where are the lanes?”
Q: What is the most inappropriate e-mail you have ever gotten from a viewer?
A: Ooooh. I had to turn off Facebook messaging. Very inappropriate comments. I had a very intoxicated viewer come up to me, in my face, and tell me that a certain dress — and she described to a T — makes me look pregnant. And then was like: Was that mean? No, not at all. [Eye roll]
Q: I would have thought men would be more inappropriate.
A: Men were more inappropriate in the messaging, but women like to make more comments about my clothing, hair and makeup.
Q: This motherhood thing keeps you on your toes?
A: The motherhood thing keeps me bonkers.
Q: Are you raising Kerris, or is she raising you?
A: That’s a good question. I’d like to think I’m raising her. I sure grew up a lot having her.
Q: Are you still kind of waiting for Kerris’ real mommy to come take her home?
A: [Laughs] There are some days when I am, “Oh, she was an angel,” and then there are other days I’m thinking, “How does anybody do this and not completely lose their mind?” I think I’m not alone in that.
Q: Who has helped you most with mothering?
A: My mom. She comes every Friday. She lives in Mankato, and she’ll come anytime and watch her. She’s been a very big help.
Q: What is something you did as a teenager you hope Kerris doesn’t pull, although it’s in her genes?
A: You know when I was a teenager we did not have cellphones yet. So it was very easy to call Mom from a pay phone or a friend’s house and you never had to be where you said you were. But with cellphones, we can track you now. She’s in trouble.
Interviews are edited. To reach C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her check out Fox 9’s “Jason Show.”