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Dennis Anderson to retire at WDIO-TV and call it a career
The dean of northland journalists is going to retire. Mike Simonson has the story.
After 50 years in the journalism business including 41 years at WDIO-TV, Dennis Anderson says he’s going to call it a career in the next six months or so. He says it was a hard decision since he still loves his profession.
“But after so many years of working nights it starts to wear on you. I feel that I’ve done my job well. It’s a time to put aside a part of my life now with 15 grandkids and all of my children and grandkids living in Duluth, Judy (his wife) and I just want to spend more time with them.”
Anderson made the announcement to his family and his colleagues in the WDIO-TV newsroom last week. WDIO-TV News Director Steve Goodspeed says he knew the day would come.
“When Denny’s actually saying the words ‘Well Steve, I’ve decided and I’m going to retire.’ His lips are moving and I hear the sounds but I’m not sure it’s really computing. I think the staff felt like that last week as well.”
Anderson was news director when he hired Goodspeed in 1979. Now, Goodspeed is the news director as Anderson ends his career. As far as he is concerned, Anderson can stay as long as he wants. As for replacing the 66 year-old anchor, Goodspeed says he’ll put out calls to Charlie Gibson, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather.
“The reality is that you can’t replace Dennis Anderson. He’s an icon in that I don’t think the next generation of viewers or news people will see on-air journalists that have been around as long as Denny. The business has changed.”
Anderson, who turns 67 years old in January, says things have changed in newsrooms since he started in radio news on the Iron Range in 1961.
“We had the loud clacking United Press and Associated Press machines. Today of course everything is computerized, everything was written on typewriter in those days. So we’ve come a long way. The physical ability to pick up news: Today we can go live anywhere in the world and that was literally unheard of unless you did it over a telephone.”
Anderson says it took him a year of pondering but his decision is hard and fast.
“I’m not going to be Bret Favre when I leave the television station, Dennis Anderson will leave the television station. I’m not going to come back and do specials and do documentaries. I’ve give it my share in 50 years.”
Anderson says he and his wife will travel and he’ll take in more sporting events starring his grandchildren.
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