Episode 41: Shell to be Paid


MILWAUKEE, August 14 – It’s now official.  Vic Shell’s eighteen year association with Milwaukee Talk has concluded.

WLKE-TV3’s lawyers have confirmed that they have reached an agreement of separation with legal representatives from Vic Shell’s team.

According to Shell’s lawyers, “Vic has accepted a generous settlement somewhere in the mid $100,000’s”.

For some who have been following the months-long odyssey between Shell and WLKE management, the news comes as no surprise.  But still, to the legion of Milwaukee Talk viewers, the emotion was pure shock.

“I’d always figured Vic and management would somehow find a way to get him back in that chair,” Mary Margaret confided to The American Log earlier this morning. “He is so much a part of this show”.

While Shell’s lawyers claim that a separation deal in the mid $100,000’s is a good deal, they concede the settlement could have been a lot sweeter.

“Mr. Shell left on his own recognizance and wasn’t fired. He was the one walking away from a contract that was still accordant for 29 more months. He really lost a large part of our bargaining arsenal which was unfortunate for him,” lawyer Chuck Healy said.

The pact, among other things, excludes Shell from pursuing any other jobs related to broadcasting in Wisconsin for a period of 18 months effective immediately.

According to Vic Shell’s lawyers, “Mr. Shell is fine with not working in the television industry any longer.  That part of the deal was the one saving grace that worked for Mr. Shell and secretly drove the separation price tag up for WLKE-TV3”.

The 18 month dormancy period for Shell’s broadcasting career was a “must have” for Tater Beutler according to sources.

“Eighteen months is the amount of time between now and when Mary will return from her maternity leave,” an insider at Milwaukee Talk revealed.   “Tater was very concerned about Shell signing with Morning Grind and losing even more viewers while Mary was gone”.

According to inside sources, Tater was adamant about getting rid of Shell.  When she heard he had agreed to the deal she sprung up from the desk in the study on the Milwaukee Talk set and danced around the studio screaming to the congregating crew “I won!  I won!  We won!”

Mr. Shell’s future in Milwaukee is in serious doubt.  His 3 bedroom North Prospect Avenue condo was sold this week for $678,910.

When pressed about what Vic Shell will be doing with his newfound time (and money), the lawyers remained silent claiming they weren’t at liberty to discuss his future plans.  They did concede Vic Shell will still be holding his primary residence in Milwaukee.

The deal also marks the end of the long-running co-hosting duo of Mary Margaret and Vic Shell.  Mary Margaret has been putting considerable pressure on Beutler to come up with a suitable long-term replacement for Shell instead of the weekly interim hosts.


It truly was the end of an era for Milwaukee television.   For the first time in a generation, people would no longer wake up with even a glimmer of hope that Shell and Margaret would be their motherlode of Wisconsin current affairs.  We leave you today with a clip of what the Shell-Margaret duo did so well: a great feature on an interesting local resident spiced up with some great analysis that you simply wouldn’t see or hear anywhere else….

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