It's official: Karen Leigh finally has a contract that will take her from "WCCO This Morning" to "CBS4" in Denver.

In late January I posted an item on startribune.com that reported broadcast insiders saying they believed Leigh had been offered a main anchor job at Denver's KCNC, which it could be assumed she had accepted. The Denver Post then quoted an official at KCNC who made a point of stressing that Leigh was one of several candidates and had not been offered the position that would station her on the anchor desk alongside Jim Benemann; Leigh is taking the place of anchor Molly Hughes.

Readers like Ken Voight, who e-mailed me on Valentine's Day, wanted to know why Leigh was still around. "I see she is still there on WCCO," wrote Voight. "What gives?"

Insiders told me that since February is a sweeps month, that could have slowed the process. The lovely, loquacious Leigh did not return call.

Today I asked WCCO-TV PR woman Kiki Rosatti what took so long. "There are a lot of contract details that goes on behind the scene and you hope that people involved are respectful of that process. We cannot legally release anything until every i is dotted and every t is crossed. It happened this morning at 9:59. So she is going. Her last day is Wednesday of next week," said Rosatti. "It's typical of this process. Unfortunately the word kind of got leaked out in advance. It's just really unfortunate it's not like anybody's trying to keep a secret, it just that you have to go through the business of these deals."

For anybody confused by Rosatti's double speak, let me translate. Yes the TV stations, KCNC more than WCCO, were trying to keep this a secret. Columnist who would write about this before the station wanted to talk about it are among those "people" not being respectful of "the process." (Note to Kiki: In the news business, whether print or broadcast, it's called a scoop; I'd love to hear you gently chiding a WCCO-TV reporter for going after one.)

Hopefully this main anchor job in Denver will make Leigh more interested than she has seemed to some around the WCCO newsroom where she's describes as remote, to put it nicely. Being remote or aloof around the newsrooms has nothing to do with how nice beautiful Leigh seems on TV; we're all nice in front of the TV camera. She's a good anchor, as proven by the fact that she's won a few Emmys. My hunch is that for longer than she'd be willing to publicly admit, Leigh has wanted a higher profile challenge in another market, closer to her hometown Little Rock, Ark. where her niece, nephew and sister Tracey live. Now instead of our lakes, Leigh and her dog Ruby get to attack picturesque Denver and its lovely environs.

If news director Scott Libin has not lost his mind, expect Leigh to be replaced by "WCCO This Morning" reporter Angela Davis, who previously was a main morning anchor at KSTP. Wouldn't be the first time Libin has given Davis such a job.

Broadcasters at other stations are nervous about Davis getting the job.

She's really good. Excuse the mixed metaphors but Davis is just a big ole ray of bubbling sunshine in the morning.

HEAD Don's speaks, explains

When Don Shelby's at a loss for words, he's obviously not feeling well.

The WCCO-TV anchor, who also has a WCCO-AM radio show, had a transitory blockage in his brain that temporarily effected his speech on a recent show. Shelby had a major health scare in 2004 when he suffered several strokes caused by a hole in his heart that required a patch.

Shelby's going to do a piece on his latest health problems on the 10 p.m. newscast tonight Wednesday when he returns to the air.

While WCCO-TV anchors Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro filled in Tuesday for Shelby on his radio show Don called in to say he feels good, after a hospital stay. The hard-headed Shelby apparently wasn't listening to his wife, colleagues or his body during the 50 or so days during which he'd been fighting a bug. Shelby has been coughing violently enough to crack three ribs.

But it was sweeps, so Shelby couldn't do something like acknowledge the pain and miss work!

On the radio, Santaniello asked Shelby why he hadn't returned her Saturday phone call? "Because Amelia doesn't call me," said Shelby.

It seems that Amelia and Frank left a message at Don's home. "I only return cell phone messages," Shelby told them. Good to know.

We also now know the words that Shelby does not like hearing from anybody who's trying to cheer him up. "Don't say this: They'll get along fine without you," said Shelby, repeating what his wife Barbara told him. "Can you image that on your tombstone: 'They're going to get along fine without you.'"

You can listen to the Don, Amelia and Frank interview at wccoradio.com.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.