Diana Pierce, the longtime anchor of Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE, says goodbye today after a 33 year career at the station
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune did a piece on Pierce that should serve as a lesson for those on their way up.
The Tribune says in 2002, Pierce read a story about KARE hiring Julie Nelson away from competitor KSTP. Pierce wasn’t told about the hire ahead of time, but assumed after reading the story that she was about to be replaced by the younger anchor.
“She skipped the 10 p.m. broadcast later that evening and went so far as to clear out her desk, most likely ready to dump her belongings in a limo and shuffle off to Buffalo. Or Boston, Milwaukee, St. Louis — heck, anywhere that would properly appreciate how she had helped move the NBC affiliate’s news team from drawing test-pattern numbers to the top of the mountain, toppling mighty WCCO along the way,” said the StarTribune.
But that was as far as the public display of unhappiness went. “You want to be better than ‘screw you.’” said Pierce. “I always say that the people who rule the world are the ones who show up.”
Nelson, who had to sit out a year because of a noncompete clause, might have been braced for an “All About Eve” moment when she started work at KARE in 2003. Instead, she was greeted by a warm, welcoming letter lying by her computer, handwritten by Pierce.
“It basically said, ‘You’re going to love it here,’” Nelson said last week. “Diana has always been an example of graciousness and pure class. This can be a pretty competitive business, but fortunately, KARE doesn’t have a lot of huge egos. Diana set the tone.”
“Everyone has a season. I had 20 years of great seasons,” she said. “But in the end, I had 32 years where I could pinch myself in the morning and say that this was still a good job.”