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Jan. 10, 2020
Shawn Cable can finally sleep in.
The longtime Sioux Falls morning television meteorologist who began his career while still in college is departing the newly formed Dakota News Now and preparing to split his time between South Dakota and South Carolina. His final newscast is Monday.
“I wasn’t old enough to go to the bar with the news team after the show,” said Cable, a Morgan, Minn., native who began at KELO-TV in 1995 while still at SDSU studying choral and vocal music.
“I’d always wanted to do weather but thought I was too stupid for the math because there’s a lot of math in meteorology,” he said.
A friend connected him with then-news director Mark Millage and meteorologist Jay Trobec. After what Cable describes as some pestering, they agreed to meet with him.
“They said, ‘Here’s the clicker. Prove you can do it.’ And they hired me on the spot. It was crazy,” he said. “I was terrible. It was almost embarrassing.”
The market forgave any early learning, though, and Cable quickly ascended from weekends to mornings, where he found a niche.
He joined KSFY-TV in 2008, waking up at 1:30 a.m. to be at the station by 2:30 a.m. and then serving in a dual role as news anchor and meteorologist.
His 25-year career brought plenty of memorable moments. There was the time lightning struck in the background of his live shot. The time – not long ago – when a horse he was sitting on live on TV fell over, unhurt. The most powerful moments, though, came after the weather disasters.
“To go to a place where a tornado shredded it the day after the event and to have someone come up crying and hugging you saying, ‘Because you were on TV, we got to the basement and didn’t die,’ that is the coolest thing in the entire world. Those are the moments that stick with you.”
While others often begin careers in Sioux Falls as a steppingstone to bigger markets, Cable said that never captivated him.
“Sioux Falls is an amazing place,” he said. “I’ve watched my mentors and colleagues I grew up with jump from small to medium markets – and a lot are in big markets – and it’s been fun to watch. But I have just loved it here so much none of that ever really mattered.”
It never really mattered, that is, until a colleague who became more than a colleague left town.
Cable’s girlfriend and former co-anchor, Kamie Roesler, departed for Columbia, S.C., in September, and he decided to follow.
“When he came to me and told me why he wanted to go, it was just one of those special moments,” said Jim Berman, Dakota News Now president and general manager. “You have to put business aside and realize this is about people’s lives. I’m so happy for them. We’re thrilled for them and wish them nothing but happiness and success.”
The move comes coincidentally just as KSFY blends in members of KDLT-TV’s news team to form Dakota News Now. Cable’s departure created two vacancies on the morning show, which will be filled on the news side by former sports anchor Erik Thorstenson. The meteorologist will be Aaron Doudna.
Cable plans to do some freelance television work from the South and return to Sioux Falls each month, where his daughter will continue to live.
“It’s tough, and being a divorced parent, they frown upon you leaving your child home alone at 1:30 a.m., so I’ve never had my daughter more than a couple nights in a row,” he said. “I’ll be back in Sioux Falls probably seven to 10 days a month to be with my daughter. I’ll be able to spend more time than I have in the past.”
He also might do work for a Sioux Falls business, he said.
“He’s a pro’s pro,” Berman said. “His energy, his enthusiasm, he’s one of the most popular talents the station has ever had. And he’s been the consistent glue that held that morning show together from the moment I walked in the door. We’re so happy for him.”
Mayor Paul TenHaken declared Jan. 13 as Shawn Cable Day in Sioux Falls.
Cable isn’t cutting ties entirely, he added. Expect him to continue to post about weather on his Twitter account and appear occasionally in town as a vocalist or emcee.
“We have one of the most interesting places to forecast in the entire country. There have been many times I’ve had a day with tornado warnings in one part of the viewing area and blizzard warnings in another,” he said.
“Everyone here has been so good to me. It’s an amazing place. I love it, and it will always be home, and I may end up back here someday. You never can tell. But I’m mostly just happy to be able to sleep in.”
One of the most familiar faces in Sioux Falls local news is leaving after 25 years.