HOLY STACKS! Your Favorite TV STAR Sits Here

After having a fun conversation with Jason DeRusha about what people’s desks say about them, he was kind enough to get approval for me to come down to WCCO and take some candid snapshots of the areas that our favorite TV STARS call home when the lights, cameras, and action go out.

Frank Vascellero

I first ran into Frank Vascellero, who as always was his funny outgoing self. When I asked Frank if I could shoot a picture of his desk, he didn’t even give it a second thought.

Here he is with a hammer that I am assuming he has just in case anyone steps over the line with his lovely wife Amelia — mother of those gorgeous kids, and his Co-Anchor at ‘CCO — who happens to sit right across from him.

Did I mention that Frank has a background in Finance, which explains why his personal opinions on the economy and the future of Media are actually backed up by facts. Well, I mentioned it now. 🙂

How do these two do it? Working side by side at work and at home, raising a family. They clearly do it well, and with a sense of humor.

Amelia Santaniello

As I was snapping my photos, Amelia walked in, right pass Frank’s desk with a mere "Hey, Frank," and straight into the girl talk. Even without makeup, she looked like a million bucks and smelled delicious(a scent she smelled on a girlfriend and liked so much she starting wearing it — a fragrance by Philosophy).

When I asked Ms. Amelia if I could take a picture of her desk, again there was no hesitation: "Sure, go for it." No pomp and circumstance; just a hearty and confident "no problem."

I knew I liked this woman from the day I met her many years ago, when she was doing a story about Sesame Street Live and grabbed my son for a sound bite. He was all of five at the time, and even though the sound bite never made the news, Amelia made a lasting, good impression on me. She is confident and comfortable in her own skin, which says a lot in a business where your audience tends to forget that you put in LONG ours, give up your PRIVACY, and god forbid your Hair Do isn’t to their liking.In other words, she has my greatest respect and admiration for more reasons than I am willing to share.

Jeanette Trumpeter

Next was Jeanette Trumpeter, who I ambushed without notice. She, too, was surprisingly fine with me taking a picture of her Space without notice. Jeanette wanted to put on a little makeup, but the truth is she is also naturally very beautiful and doesn’t need a stich of makeup.

I like the fact that Jeanette had this Barbie Action News book that belts out clichés from the business, such as "Breaking News" and "Action." She was very witty and down to earth despite the guy at the window, on Nicollet, trying to peak through the windows to get a close view of his favorite TV Stars.

Jason DeRusha

Next came our lovable Jason, who I know has worked his little butt off to make a name for himself and has earned "The Good Question" segment the old fashion way: He worked hard for it! As you can see from Jason’s photos and his description below, he has a quirky sense of humor and likes things organized and clean. 🙂

My desk is fairlyblank right now, because I’m waiting for our creative servicesdepartment to design some elements for it for our "Good Question"feature. I shoot a lot of things for my stories at my desk, and Iwanted it to look cool. Instead, there’s a 10-year-old picture of mywife and I from our wedding day which desperately needs dusting. There’s a dirty oversized soup spoon from the Lotus Restaurant nearLoring Park (I didn’t steal it, I swear).

Thereare a couple awards on my desk: in this picture I’m holding my employeeof the month award from October of 2004 (that’s the last time I didanything productive at WCCO). There’s also a national award for somevolunteer work I did with the Family, Career and Community Leaders ofAmerica (FCCLA). It’s a high school leadership group. And there’s amirror. Because when you have the impressive head of hair I’msporting, you need to make sure every strand is in its place. And by"every strand," I mean, the ten strands.

—Jason DeRusha

Don Shelby

Last came the desk of a guy that I go way back with, from years ago when my father and he used to partner in the Don Shelby Fishing Tournament.

Don’s desk was stacked with piles of papers, a few bottles of aspirin, and I could not make out anything else because there was so much "stuff." Don is still one of the best Anchors in the business for two reasons: First, he is constantly on his game and is willing to take chances by offering his opinion in a news segment — a huge no-no in journalism. And he has his ear pierced, a fact made even sexier by the story behind it. Of course, that’s HIS story to tell, not mine.

I called a couple of other peeps in the business to give you an idea of how their desksreflect their personalities.

Robyne Robinson

Robyne Robinson, of FOX 9 — who created The Buzz, which in itself was way ahead of the game — sent me this picture along the email below, describing a typical day at her desk.

Mel: A cluttered desk the sign of a cluttered mind? Whomever came up with that OBVIOUSLY was NOT a multi-tasker!

This is a typical day at FOX 9… a little gossip TV with Deborah Norville… reading scripts and surrounded by pics of my nephews, my new cousin and my guy…

And what about those fierce shades? Killer… news is always in fashion…

But I must admit: I do sneak in a little ROX jewelry time. Lots of good stuff happening there.

We’ll talk soon!

Ciao, Chica —


I called Eric Perkins (known as Elvis by his buddies), too. And though he was more than willing to send me pictures and quotes, my deadline and his work hours just weren’t in sync. I will follow up with Mr. Perk-at-Play in the future, and you can count on me giving him Sh%#! about his dance moves.

There are so many people that I wish I could highlight, but with limited time — and being way overdue on my blog — this will have to be it for now.


I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. While I was putting together this blog someone in the office had a Birthday, so the header shot is me in My Space, enjoying one of my favorite things about working in my office: Birthday Cake. It seems it always someone’s birthday around here, which means there is always birthday cake in the company kitchen. (I was told this cake came from Cub Foods, and it was DEVINE.)