Former WCCO-TV reporter Liz Collin, whose marriage to former Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll raised conflict-of-interest concerns at the TV station, has joined the staff at conservative Minnesota news site Alpha News.
Collin's first story for the 7-year-old alphanews.org is an "exclusive" ride-along look at Ramsey County's recently created Car Jacking Auto Theft team. In the story — billed as a "first-hand look at Twin Cities crime" — the Emmy-winning native of Worthington also talked with victims who were held at gunpoint as well as a mother of one alleged carjacker.
In a phone call with the Star Tribune, Collin said her debut story for the news outlet is the kind of "below-the-surface" reporting she intends to do in the coming months — which she said she wasn't allowed to do in recent years at WCCO.
"There's a lot happening in Minnesota right now. Reporters need to be covering that and bring more things to the surface, and I feel like I wasn't allowed to do that in the last couple years," she said. "The last couple years I have been very limited in what I was allowed to cover, and I was suspended from my anchoring post that I held for a dozen years at WCCO. So I felt compelled to explore some other opportunities."
Collin's biography on the Alpha News site calls her a "Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab" as well as a "truth-teller for 20 years." The latter line echoes a statement Collin offered on social media when she announced her departure from WCCO in January.
"The truth makes me tick. I will get back to telling that soon," she wrote in the post, which also cited the biblical verse John 8:32 ("Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free").
Collin's brother, Will Collin of Worthington, made light of her new job on Facebook, saying, "The Mouth of Minnesota is muzzled no more."
Alpha News announced her hiring in a tweet Monday, which read, "We are thrilled to welcome Emmy-winning reporter and anchor Liz Collin to the team!"
Billing itself as a news organization "focusing on politics and social issues you may not see in traditional media," Alpha News was launched in 2015 with support from the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance and other conservative political groups. It is now well-shared among right-wing commentators and social-media threads.
Collin's husband, Kroll, was the former president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation, and a lightning rod for critics of police abuse in Minneapolis before he announced his retirement in January 2021. Calls for Kroll's resignation increased following George Floyd's murder in May 2020.
Collin declined to answer questions Tuesday about Kroll, saying, "Women can actually have their career in this day and age. This story is about me, not my husband."
In August 2020, more than 100 Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the couple's home, where they smashed piñata effigies of them. During those chaotic months, Collin was not involved in stories related to law enforcement or protests at WCCO, where she worked for 14 years.
Collin also produced a podcast related to the car-jacking story that she said will post Wednesday at Alpha News. And she will also soon host a town-hall-style meeting on the website with crime victims, "whom we're not hearing enough from in the media," she said.