Longtime Twin Cities television news anchor Mike Binkley said Wednesday that he’s retiring after 34 years.
The 57-year-old Binkley, who co-anchors weekend nights for WCCO, Channel 4, made the announcement on his Facebook page, explaining that “life is short, and I’m looking forward to pursuing other activities and interests while I’m still ‘young.’ ”
Binkley said he let WCCO management in on his plans back in May. He’ll sign off on Dec. 6 and take with him nothing but good feelings about what he said can be an embittering profession.
“I’m not that guy,” said Binkley, known for his eternally boyish appearance and graceful on-air delivery, in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “I am so grateful for my 34 years in the business.”
Binkley slid over to WCCO in 2008 from KSTP-TV, Channel 5, where he worked for 20 years. His honors have included six Upper Midwest Emmy awards for newscasts he co-anchored.
“I did a lot of traveling in this business,” Binkley said, recalling in particular his role in covering the 1987 and 1991 World Series titles for the Minnesota Twins and being on for the first space shuttle launch after the Challenger explosion in 1986.
More recently, Binkley said, he’s proud of the “Finding Minnesota” travelogue series he’s participated in at WCCO because it “shines a positive light on this state that I love.”
As for his future, Binkley said he wants to do volunteer work, pursue photography and other hobbies, and possibly do some writing and producing “down the road.”
He added that he also might collaborate with his wife, Mary Milla, in her career as a public speaker and speaking coach.
Before arriving in the Twin Cities, Binkley worked at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati and WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan. He received a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1980.
Binkley acknowledged that his “fresh-faced” appearance right out of college made him concerned whether people would take him seriously.
“Now, I’ll be 58 [in December],” he said, “but that’s more like 78 in TV years.”