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DeBoer out in a flash, but Spang steps in at KTTC

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Dean DeBoer worked as weekend sports anchor at KTTC-TV for, oh, about five minutes before moving on to other ventures.

Not really. Actually, it was more like a week, but you get the picture. He wasn’t here very long.

"He wanted to move on in a different direction in his life," KTTC sports director Pat Lund said.

That was two weeks ago, but the vacancy didn’t last long.

"We were behind the eight-ball in that we needed someone pretty fast. Like right away," Lund said.

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Two weeks ago, on Nov. 28, news director Mark Carros was speaking to a journalism class at the University of Minnesota and came back to Lund with this news.

"I have your guy," he said.

Indeed, that’s the case. He’s C.J. Spang, a 22-year-old Winona native who is soon to graduate from Minnesota.

"He came down for an interview on that Thursday," Lund said. "I talked to him for about 10 minutes, and one of the questions I asked was ‘when can you start?’

"He said in 30 seconds, and that was good enough for me. I told Mark, ‘get the kid a contract.’ "

Which may or may not be the fastest contract signing for a TV station in a long time.

"He was a college student on Wednesday and employed full-time at a TV station the next day," Lund said. "That’s got to be a first, but it’s not like we picked up someone off the street.

"C.J. has worked on our type of computer, and being from Winona, knows what’s going on in this area. Plus, he came highly recommended by his professors."

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His first day as solo sports anchor was last Saturday.

"I worked with him that first weekend, but he was by himself last week," Lund said. "He did a very good job. He wasn’t used to reading all the scoreboards at the same time. There’s nine of them. That, plus looking at the monitor and reading the script is not the easiest thing to do, but I thought he did fine, although he was upset because he thought he should have done better.

"No doubt, though, he will continue to get better. What better way to learn, we threw him into the fire right away and he came through."

 Spang played baseball while in Winona and will graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism later this month. Lund said Spang worked as a sports reporter at the Winona Daily News and as a freelancer with ESPN and intern with Fox Sports Net North. The main thing, Lund said, is that Spang is expected to be around for a long time, unlike DeBoer.

Lund has been with KTTC for 17 years, the last 13 as sports director.

Other weekend sports anchors were Bill Walsh, Joe Siple and Mike Scott, who worked three years before leaving on Nov. 30 for a station in Springfield, Mo., his hometown.

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He writes a weekly Friday TV and radio-based column and can be reached at pchristian@postbulletin.com

TV/radio notes, C5

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