The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Michele Tafoya, but the sideline reporter for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" couldn't be happier both personally and professionally.

On Saturday, Tafoya and her husband, Mark Vandersall, brought home an adopted newborn from Colombia after a seven-week stay in that country. On Monday, Tafoya's much-rumored move to WCCO Radio became official when it was announced she would become the host of the station's 3 to 6 p.m. weekday show starting June 1.

"Life is changing for me in a lot of ways," she said on "The Don Shelby Show," which will move to an earlier slot, 1 to 3 p.m. Shelby and Tafoya will share the mike from 3 to 3:30 p.m., then Tafoya will be at the reins until 6 p.m. Tafoya also will continue on "Monday Night Football" -- she has two years left on that contract -- but was let out of her deal with ESPN Radio, which was to expire in September.

This marks Tafoya's full-time return to the Twin Cities airwaves, the same airwaves that helped propel her into the national spotlight with CBS Sports and later Disney-owned ABC and ESPN. Tafoya, who started in this market on KFAN Radio in the 1990s, also had a stint at WCCO Television in the '90s.

"Michele adds even more star power to the WCCO talent team," said the station's general manager, Mick Anselmo, who also played a key role in Tafoya's hiring at KFAN. "She has plenty to talk about and creates a game-changing opportunity for WCCO."

Tafoya acknowledged Anselmo's role in her hiring, but her association with 'CCO goes back to before he came on board. Tafoya had served as a guest host on a few occasions and said on-and-off talks with program director Wendy Paulson and former executive Mary Niemeyer began about two years ago. "Everything just clicked here in the last few months," Tafoya said.

Tafoya's name has been synonymous with sports, but she plans on changing that with this move. "There is so much I'm dying to talk about that you can't go near on other formats," she said. "I want to talk politics, I want to talk about Norm Coleman and Al Franken, I want to talk about the ridiculous budget. I also want to talk about 'American Idol' and 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'Slumdog Millionaire.' I want to run the gamut. Now if there is a great local or national sports story worth talking about, we'll do it. That's fine, too, and I'm more than comfortable doing that. But there is so much more I'm interested in and this is one reason ESPN is letting me do it because it's not sports-centric."

Tafoya will have access to some top-notch guests from the sports world, having worked with Al Michaels, John Madden, Tony Kornheiser among others. "That's where it will get fun," she said. "If I have Al Michaels on we'll talk about 'Sunday Night Football' and the NFL, and the Olympics, but I'm also going to ask him about who he likes in the stock market because the guy loves to play the stock market. With Madden, I'll ask him about his winery and how his almond farm is going and the Madden games because he is a renaissance man.

"Mike Tirico [of ESPN] wants to come on and debate me on politics, and Kornheiser will come on and talk about anything but sports. We are 'American Idol' buddies. That's where to me this is going to be really fun. People will get to know me in a different way and to get know other people in different ways, too."

Tafoya will not be able to host the 'CCO program on Mondays during the NFL season but said that is the only day of the week she will miss. She is not aware yet of the plan for a replacement but expects it will be much like WCCO has done with Shelby having a fill-in or "Don for a Day."

As for moving into the marquee drive-time spot that Shelby had occupied, Tafoya said the two are longtime friends and that it won't be any problem. The expectation when rumors of Tafoya's hire first surfaced was that she would anchor the show leading into drive time. But the two will get that half-hour to work together each weekday.

"He's a big sports nut who does news and I'm a big news nut who does sports," she said of Shelby. "We like each other so much. I respect the heck out of him. He's so skilled and such a talented journalist. But my goal will be to try to push him out of his comfort zone a little bit. I like to do that."

As for Tafoya, she was able to get much of the WCCO deal done via fax in Colombia while she and Vandersall were in the process of adopting a baby girl, 5-month-old Olivia. She joins a household that includes the couple's 31/2-year-old son, Tyler. The family lives in Edina.

Family is one reason Tafoya decided this season to give up her television duties on ABC and ESPN's NBA telecasts, which are most hectic this time of year during the playoffs. As for what might happen after her MNF contract with ESPN expires in two years, Tafoya said, "Nothing has been decided on that."