It was a day of hellos and goodbyes at WCCO radio. Longtime political reporter Eric Eskola said Tuesday that he plans to accept a buyout and leave the station after 30 years. He joins Dark Star, Jeff McKinney and Tim Russell, all long-time WCCO staples who recently announced their departures.
"WCCO is getting younger, faster and better," said Eskola, who is unclear when he'll sign off. "They're moving to a more multi-platform approach [i.e., online and other outlets] and, quite frankly, people my age are not as nimble."
Eskola, who will continue to co-host Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac," thanked WCCO for giving him "the most fun I could have had. I'm at peace with the decision."
The news came at the end of a day that opened with longtime KSTP radio personality Tommy Mischke announcing that he would be joining "The Good Neighbor" May 10.
Mischke will air from 10 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, plus a Friday-night program of "greatest hits" selected by listeners.
"Having a storyteller the caliber of Tommy Mischke on WCCO is just what our listeners have been asking for," said program director Wendy Paulson.
Mischke, who will continue writing a column for the Twin Cities weekly City Pages, briefly experimented with an online-only program for City Pages after a 16-year run at KSTP that ended with his dismissal in December 2008. He said WCCO is the only destination left in the Twin Cities for his kind of freewheeling radio.
"I'm clearly coming in on the wave of change here, but it doesn't appear to be a wave away from what WCCO has done: present personalities with general interests," he said. "That's the kind of radio I fell in love with years ago."
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with Mischke at startribune.com/artcetera.