Shelly brings her sunshine back to town
By Jim Kershner
Shelly Monahan, better known as “Sunshine Shelly” on the air in Spokane during the ’70s and ’80s, is returning to Spokane.
She has signed a deal with KHQ-6 to become the station’s morning weather anchor. She will begin on Nov. 13.
She is presently the weekend weather anchor at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, the NBC affiliate in the third largest TV market in the country. She signed a $2 million-plus contract with that station three years ago, but when the contract was up, she decided it was time to come home.
“In this business, you try to see if you can make it into the top 20 markets, the top 10, the top five,” she said from her home in Chicago. “But it all makes you realize that more money is not exactly better.”
She said that she and her husband, Michael Oddino, a director-producer in sports, talked about possibly moving to Detroit or Los Angeles. But then they thought, “What about going back to Spokane?”
The idea appealed to them mainly because they want to raise their two daughters, 5 and 7, in Spokane. She describes herself as a “farm girl from Chattaroy” and she has many relatives in the area.
So she called an old friend, Patricia McRae, the news director at KHQ-6.
“I said, `It’s presumptuous of me to ask, but what if…?”
McRae and KHQ-6 general manager Lon Lee were receptive, to put it mildly.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Lee. “She’s loved and respected and well-known. She just owned this town in the early-to-mid-’80s.”
Monahan’s husband has landed a spot with Fox Sports Net out of Seattle, flying around the Northwest to broadcast games.
She went through a highly publicized personal trauma in 1979, when she became a rape victim during the time of the notorious South Hill Rapist rampage. Then in 1986, her fiance, climber Kim Momb, died in an avalanche.
So in 1986, she felt it was “time to move on.” She went to stations in Sacramento and Seattle before moving to Chicago three years ago. Now, she is returning because of the “quality of life” and the chance to work with longtime friend McRae.
“You go full circle,” she said. “The opportunity to do this is, literally, a dream come true.”
Sunday, September 3, 2000