MnPublius’s Zack Stephenson published the rumor that DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza was considering departing Fox9 anchor Robyne Robinson as his running mate, City Pages had the first sourced story, the Pioneer Press’ Political Animal blog tweeted a confirmation from Robinson, and … well, let’s just say that Mark Dayton’s selection of Yvonne Prettner Solon may not be the lead lieutenant governor story Tuesday morning.
This should all come to a head very quickly, because Robinson is scheduled to host her last three nights as anchor tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday (the last night of the May sweeps period, by the way). Fox9 management was caught absolutely flat-footed by this news, and the station’s contracts (like those of pretty much every other reputable media organization) forbid journalists from being involved in politics.
No one is sure yet, but Robinson’s final Fox9 appearance — in the anchor chair anyway — may have been the last time she was on. Some poor video editor may never get to see the fruits of Robinson’s career highlight reel get on-air.
When the rumor first hit, I called Entenza’s communications director Bridget Cusick for comment. In a classic case of “plausible deniability,” she said she hadn’t been told the pick, her staff didn’t know the pick, and “If I don’t know, I seriously doubt Zack knows.”
It’s worth remembering that the Entenza side hasn’t confirmed anything, at least as I write this; if the City Pages and the PiPress are right, what we have comes from Robinson. At the time she announced she was leaving the station, I called the decidedly formal announcement “strange.” This makes that exit stranger. More as the story develops.