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Say good-bye to the 50-year-plus guys: WCCO’s Boone, Star Tribune’s Youngblood

Since I’m getting a little long in the tooth myself, I have more of an appreciation for guys who have topped the half-century mark in career duration.

Since I’m getting a little long in the tooth myself, I have more of an appreciation for guys who have topped the half-century mark in career duration. In the next few days, two guys who stepped away from the regular gigs in 1998 will hang it up for good.

WCCO’s Charlie Boone is a radio icon; since leaving from his weekday show, he’s been on Saturday mornings. That ends with the Dec. 18 broadcast, according to a station release, below. The 56-year vet gets the Don Shelby good-bye in the week leading up to the leaving.

Star Tribune small business columnist Dick Youngblood, like Boone, gave up his main gig years ago. He still writes weekly, but that concludes by month’s end. John Oslund’s pretty funny employee memo (“utter contempt”) is also below.

Boone first:

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Legendary Twin Cities radio personality Charlie Boone will retire from WCCO Radio. The announcement was made today by Mick Anselmo, WCCO Radio General Manager. The Charlie Boone Show airs Saturdays from 6 to 9 a.m. Boone’s final show will be Saturday, December 18th.

“For more than 51 years, Charlie Boone has been the sound of home for generations of Minnesotans who turn on WCCO Radio,” said Anselmo. “It is a privilege to have worked with and listened to a Minnesota broadcasting icon.”

The week of December 13th will feature a look back at Charlie’s career on air and online at Charlie will appear on WCCO shows throughout the week.

On Saturday, December 18th, Boone’s broadcast partner of more than 30 years, Roger Erickson, will join Charlie along with family and friends.

“These almost 52 years have been a gift. CCO is where I met my radio partner Rog Erickson and where I met my life partner, Carol Heen who is the most important interview of my life.” says Boone. “I will always love CCO and I celebrate all of the people I work with.”

The Old Log Theatre will be hosting a brunch in April to celebrate Charlie’s career. More details will be forthcoming.


Since 1998 Dick Youngblood has been writing about small businesses once a week as a freelancer. Until now.
In a second stab at retirement, Dick’s says his final column will run on Dec. 29.

“And I hope you run it on that Wednesday,’’ said the irascible newspaper man.

Youngblood started at the Minneapolis Tribune as the newspaper’s North Dakota correspondent in 1963, and moved to the Minneapolis newsroom the next year as agribusiness reporter. By 1968, he was an assistant city editor and a year later became business editor, a position he held for 14 years.

In 1983, he gave up his editing responsibilities to become a fulltime business columnist writing three times a week for the now-combined Star Tribune. Fifteen years later, in 1998, Dick retired for the first time. But he quickly agreed to write the once-a-week column.

As business editor in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the never-shy Youngblood could be heard throughout the newsroom button-holing reporters and demanding: “What have you got for Sunday business!’’

Their standard response became: “Utter contempt.’’

As a columnist, he holds the world record for use of the phrase “dad-blamed.’’

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As a journalist, he covered some of the most important agriculture stories of his day, including the National Farmers Organization protests across the Midwest and his series on the collapse of the beef cattle market, which earned him national recognition in 1965.

A five-part series on the causes and effects of inflation earned him a John Hancock Award for Business Journalism in 1975.

And generations of students at the University of St. Thomas got their introduction to journalism from Dick, among them staffers Paul Klauda and Nicole Hvidsten; Liz Fedor and Dane Smith (former Stribbers), and Tom Webb (of the PP).

As he explains in his farewell column, he’s decided to “end my 55-year love affair with the daily newspaper business.’’

Time will tell. Meanwhile, your “friendly neighborhood business columnist’’ will be in the office for the next couple of weeks.