Patrick Reusse keeps sending us pictures, and we keep posting them. As long as they're as good as yesterday's 1977 Reusse pic and today's priceless Joe Mauer youth basketball photo from 1992, we will keep posting them.
But a man cannot live on amusing photos alone. And just when we thought the content well had run dry, news hound Judd Zulgad, who wrote the initial KSTP story, dropped a ton of extra information onto our lap and said, "here, post this." And so, with the interest this subject seems to be generating, we will. Here are some Zulgad extras from the big news of KSTP switching to a sports talk format. Reusse, of course, is the common thread here:
Star Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse made the full-time transition to the radio business in January 2009 when he took over as host of KSTP’s morning show.
This came after Reusse spent nearly 30 years at the Hubbard-owned station providing sports opinions at various points during the day and also hosting "Saturday Morning Sports Talk," with his longtime buddy and Pioneer Press columnist Joe Soucheray.
Reusse and Soucheray had first become a talk-show team in 1981 when they started hosting "Sunday Night Sports Talk" on KSTP. That came to an end in the spring of 1982 when they were fired, but they made a triumphant return on Monday nights in September 1983. That show eventually made its way to Saturday mornings at 10 and has been there ever since. In many ways, Reusse and Soucheray could be considered the originators of what has become sports talk.
"We’ve been doing this show for two hours on Saturdays where we kind of wondered in and started our production meetings at four minutes to 10 a.m. and we’d B.S.," Reusse said Thursday. "This is a completely different animal."
The "this" of which Reusse speaks is the fact that KSTP’s move to an all-sports format as of Monday will now feature Reusse from noon to 2 p.m. solo each weekday. He will then be joined by Soucheray from 2 to 4 p.m. before Soucheray takes over from 4 to 6 p.m. with his "Garage Logic" program. In the near future, the station will be known as 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
The mandate of "sports talk" for Reusse and Soucheray is interesting to say the least. Anyone who has listened to them on Saturdays is aware that the show would be considered more along the lines of "talk" and "sports" rather than "sports talk."
Dan Seeman, a vice president at Hubbard Broadcasting, knows plenty about working with on-air talent that enjoys broadening the scope outside of the X’s and O’s of sports. Seeman was a founding father of KFAN in 1991, when sports talk was beginning to hit the scene and over the years that station evolved into one that is branded by sports but features discussion of plenty of other topics.
So how does Seeman see Reusse and Soucheray’s show?
"You have to fulfill the promise of sports with the ESPN brand and being the new kids on the block," he said. "Those guys will do that and the good news is they have the credibility to do that but [sports is] the center lane. It has to be but things are going on in the world that aren’t just sports. I think you’re going to find that [Soucheray’s long running] "Garage Logic show will be "Garage Logic" with more sports in it. But it will be "Garage Logic."
Reusse said he has been told that "Saturday Morning Sports Talk," will survive for the time being, but sounded unsure of what the future might hold.
As for hosting a show with Soucheray each weekday, Reusse said: "It’s going to be planned and I think it’s a much bigger adjustment for Joe than me. He’s been doing politics and current events for a long time. I’ve only been doing that for a year. Hopefully, it will work and we will find a chemistry in a more serious sports vein than we have on Saturdays since God knows when. ... My expectation is to be as surprised as the listener as to what the daily sports talk turns out to be."
As for his morning show being pulled after just over a year on the air, Reusse expressed sadness that his sidekicks Jay Kolls and Bob Berglund, as well as producer John Burns, were all let go by KSTP on Thursday.
"Jay Kolls is one of the most affable guys you will meet in your life and Bob is wonderful old newsman and John Burns worked his [behind] off," Reusse said. "It’s a kick in the shins to say the least. ... [The show] was what I wanted it to be but unfortunately the public didn’t seem to agree. The ratings were OK through the summer and the Twins [being on KSTP] probably helped but then they kind of went in the tank I guess. ... The Brett Favre phenomenon didn’t help us because we didn’t talk Favre all the time."