A few weeks ago, I wrote that some familiar voices would be leaving the Good Neighbor via buyouts. Now, the first name has surfaced: Tim Russell, the man of a million voices who frequently appears as entertainment editor on Dave Lee’s morning show.
While WCCO program director Wendy Paulson declined to comment, Russell’s agent, Amy Oppegaard confirmed the departure. Russell is widely known as a good guy, and I know his WCCO and “Prairie Home Companion” fans will want to know how he feels about all this. (The buyout doesn’t involve PHC, of course.) Oppegaard passed along my interview request and I’ll let you know if I hear from him.
I still expect other departures, though I haven’t yet been able to confirm the names I’ve heard. WCCO, which hired John Williams for its 1-3 p.m. show earlier this month, still hasn’t filled the 9-1 a.m. “Dark Star” slot that insiders expect Tommy Mischke to get at least part of. Amid the buyouts, the station remains in negotiations with AFTRA, the labor union representing on- and off-air employees.