See more of the story

Lee Valsvik, the I'll-try-anything reporter for "KARE 11 Saturday" for 26 years, has left the morning team.

Valsvik, who was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasters Hall of Fame last year, will continue her gig at KOOL108, playing the best of the '80s and '90s from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays.

The veteran broadcaster was saluted on the KARE show Saturday with a five-minute collection of snippets from her field reports, showing off her willingness to try everything from swinging on a trapeze to wrapping a snake around her neck. It kicked off with her most buzzed about bit: A 2013 piece about the Vikings-Packers rivalry in which she was accidentally knocked off her feet.

Host Belinda Jensen ended the emotional segment by presenting Valsvik with personalized memorabilia from the Minnesota Wild.

"There is no one that does live reporting like Lee," Jensen said Sunday in an email. "It is not just my opinion. So many people have said that to me. She brings events to life and brings the audience along to experience them like they were right there with her."

The role of weekend features reporter will be filled by Samie Solina, who has been with the station since 2022.

Valsvik talked about her TV career Sunday in a phone interview.

Q: Why was now the right time to step back?

A: I've got an awesome cabin in Danbury [Wisconsin]. Everybody else goes up Friday afternoon and I'm like, "I'll see you Saturday." It was time.

Q: Your signature approach was to put yourself in the story so viewers can live vicariously through you. Whose idea was that?

A: Probably mine. KARE always let me do what I wanted to do. Over the last few years, I haven't been as crazy as I was when I was younger. That tackle has been seen watched over and over again. That wasn't planned. My photographer, who was the one who tackled me, felt so bad. For a while, it was named "The Best Hit in the NFL." Must have been a slow week in football. Then it popped up on Jon Stewart's "Moment of Zen." I didn't get hurt, so that's the good thing.

Q: Other than the tackle, what's the most memorable thing that happened during your time at KARE?

A: Oh, my goodness. I did so many fun things. Zip-lining across the Mississippi, the polar plunges, doing live shots from the Ryder Cup. One of the saddest was the [hockey legend] Herb Brooks funeral. I'm not a serious news reporter, but that was a situation where we needed to be there.

Q: Last year was a big one for you. What was it like to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?

A: That was super cool. When I looked at the other people that were in it, the name that stood out was Carmen the Nurse (Mary Davies Orfield). It's something else to be on that list with people from the kids shows I grew up watching in Stillwater. In radio, you get fired a lot and have to go somewhere else because of non-compete clauses. It's crazy that I've been able to stay here locally.

Q: Is there anything you won't miss about doing "KARE 11 Saturday"?

A: Getting up so early, taking a day out of my weekend. But once I got to the station, I had so much fun. It's just a crazy family that's been so wonderful.