(FOX 9) - Longtime KMSP/FOX 9 anchor Jeff Passolt is retiring after a 23-year career at the station. Passolt joined KMSP in May of 1996 and has anchored the popular evening newscasts, including 9 p.m. for all of those 23 years.
The St. Louis Park, Minnesota native and St. Cloud State University hockey standout got his first job in 1982 in the Twin Cities at WTCN, Channel 11, covering sports. He later became sports director at KARE. He left the Twin Cities in early 1993 to become Sports Director at KMGH in Denver. Jeff came back home three years later to anchor the news at KMSP.
“Earlier this year I realized I’d never catch Mark Rosen’s 50 years in the broadcast-media business, not to mention Tom Barnard, Charley Walters, Pat Reusse, Joe Soucheray and the legendary Sid Hartman," Passolt said. "So after about 39 years I figured it’s someone else’s turn. Thank you to all who’ve invited me into their homes all these years and for helping a Minnesota kid make good. I couldn’t have done it without very talented co-workers and the support from the public. Recently, one of the coaches at the Final Four said, 'And don’t forget the haters. They make you better too.' So I say thanks to all who made the kind comments, but also my harshest critics. They all helped make me who I am today.”
“Jeff has been the leader of our newsroom for over two decades," said FOX 9 Vice President/News Director Mim Davey. "We will miss his sure-handed approach to covering news in the Twin Cities. We wish him the best in his next chapter and look forward to hearing how happy he is spending time at his cabin and out on the golf course."
"Jeff has become synonymous with our brand," said FOX 9 Vice President and General Manager Sheila Oliver. "When someone asks about Fox 9, they always follow with ‘How’s Jeff Passolt?’ So we know his countless fans will miss him, but we hope they will continue to watch as we continue his legacy at the station."
Jeff was voted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2018. His last day on the air at FOX 9 is Sunday, May 5.
Today my friend first and co-worker second @JeffPassoltFOX9 retired. It's hard to put into words how much I will miss him sitting next to me everyday in the newsroom. His advice, his humor, his constant presence.. All have made me and others around him better.. All the best Jeff.— Randy Meier (@RandyMeierFox9) April 18, 2019
I remember calling Jeff before we moved here and asking him if we'd be happy. Like a coach, he gave me a game plan and support I will never, ever forget. He's been there for me & my family as a mentor & friend since. Will miss having him here, but so happy for his next step. https://t.co/vaImnvnZGG— Kelcey Carlson (@KelceyFox9) April 18, 2019
This place will never be the same. Jeff is the same guy in front of the camera as he is behind the scenes - kind, funny and gracious. Congratulations on a legendary career my friend.. we will miss you. https://t.co/e1uH7CZlPh— Amy Hockert (@AmyHockert) April 18, 2019
The definition of a gentleman. Congrats, Jeff. https://t.co/6AyESM8y0r— Timothy Blotz (@TimBlotzFOX9) April 18, 2019
Congratulations to Jeff Passolt retiring after 23-year career here at FOX 9! I will miss you, your stories & how you welcomed in an “outsider” to your sports world in 2004 💕https://t.co/ENqHjungjU pic.twitter.com/3UUN4Ma7xr— Dawn Mitchell (@DawnAtFOX9) April 18, 2019
Congratulations @JeffPassoltFOX9 !! Thank you for teaching me 20 years ago to read my scripts out loud and write like I'm talking to someone in the Cub Foods checkout line!! I still have the congrats note you sent me on my first promotion at @FOX9 CHEERS TO YOU!!!🥳 https://t.co/O2HbS8TiLZ— Lori Fisher (@lorifox9) April 18, 2019
Fox 9 simply won’t be the same without you @JeffPassoltFOX9! Congrats on an exceptional career and THANK YOU for your encouragement along the way. I’m bummed I won’t be able to be your desk-mate one last time! https://t.co/XDMXMX2K6t— Leah Beno (@LeahBenoFox9) April 18, 2019
A pure professional, a man with a huge heart and witty sense of humor. A true journalist. I've learned a ton from Jeff over the years. He's the best among the best. Congrats, my friend! https://t.co/y9PEWCxwxJ— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) April 18, 2019