One of the longest-running radio hosts in Minnesota will call it a career this week.
Dave Lee's 32-year career at WCCO Radio News Talk 830 will end when he hosts the morning news on Friday. Lee announced in early January that he would be retiring from "The Good Neighbor" at the end of April.
Now that the time is near, he's being celebrated by the station with what it's calling "Farewell Week."
Each day this week the station will surprise Lee with special guests. Lee said his longtime producer, Jimmy Erickson, "won't even tell me who they are this week."
The first surprise guest Monday was Nick Engbloom from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, and the second mystery segment featured Jerry Hammer, the executive vice president and general manager of the Minnesota State Fair, and Martha Olson, better known was "Sweet Martha" of Sweet Martha's Cookies fame.
Lee, a 66-year-old North Dakota native, started his radio broadcasting career at 790 KFGO Radio in Fargo, North Dakota, WCCO Radio says.
In 1989, at age 28, he was the program director and afternoon drive host. That's when former WCCO Radio Program Director Jon Quick, who was scouting for new talent, heard Lee on the radio and hired him.
His first day on air with WCCO Radio was Sept. 30, 1989. He worked weekends and was being "groomed" to take over for Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson, the longtime morning hosts, which he did in 1997, the station says.
While he was the voice of morning news on WCCO Radio years, he was also a sports broadcaster, doing play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and was a fill-in announcer for the Minnesota Twins, the station says.
He still does play-by-play for the TV broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School boys and girls basketball tournaments and is the voice of University of St. Thomas football on WCCO Radio.
Lee has won three Emmys for his television work and has been named Minnesota's Sportscaster of the Year six times, WCCO Radio notes.
Who will replace Lee?
The station has yet to announce who'll take Lee's place on the morning show.
After learning of Lee's impending retirement, Sheletta Brundidge, who hosts a Saturday show at the station, has called on station management to give a person of color a chance to host the morning show.
While the station currently has the likes of Henry Lake, Jearlyn Steele, Roshini Rajkumar, and Brundidge herself as evening or weekend hosts, 830 WCCO has never had a person of color in a weekday, daytime slot as an on-air host in its almost 100-year history.