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New Book Mixes Sports & WCCO Legacy

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October 7, 2011

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New Book Mixes Sports & WCCO Legacy

Rosen, who fixed his receding hairline with the assistance of the Hair Restoration Institute of Minnesota, believes chronological age is “immaterial” and has nothing to do with the “fires burning” within.  He often doesn’t fall asleep until after midnight and is up by 7 a.m. to start another busy day including his work on KFAN.

But there’s no complaining about the routine.  “It keeps me young, keeps me vital,” he said. “I am tired when I get up in the morning.  I haven’t slept that long.  I just push forward.”

Rosen’s book is titled Best Seat in the House.  It will tell the story of how he entered broadcasting and includes chapters on Bud Grant, Harmon Killebrew and the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”  But it will be more than a sports book, also talking about television news and how extraordinarily well it was practiced at WCCO-TV including during the 1970’s and 1980’s when the station’s roster of talent offered such high achievers as Dave Moore, Al Austin, Barry Petersen, Bill Stewart and Susan Spencer.

“Great reporters” in Rosen’s words and a time he wants others to remember.  “When we arguably had the greatest local newsroom ever assembled ─ anywhere,” he said. “…This (the book) is a tribute to them because I don’t want future generations to forget how this place was built.”

The first chapter recalls the story of how a high school aged Rosen, fascinated by television, pitched Phil Jones ─ his St. Louis Park neighbor and another great reporter ─ about an opportunity to see the inner workings of WCCO-TV.  One Saturday the teenager rode the bus downtown and got an introduction to TV.  “This is just so cool to be here,” Rosen thought.

It didn’t take long for the station to create a position for him.  He was hired part-time in August of 1969, before his junior year at St. Louis Park High where he was a student and baseball player.

A couple of years later Rosen was a full-time writer and reporter working in sports for WCCO.  His boss was the late Hal Scott who taught him a lot about TV journalism including the importance of brevity in writing a script.  “He was just the greatest boss in the world to work for,” Rosen said.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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