John Hines is a Minnesota media legend. For more than 46 years, he could be seen and heard on Minnesota television and radio. He worked at WWTC-AM, hosted “Twin Cities Today” on KSTP-TV, hosted with Bob Berglund on WLOL-FM, and eventually landed at WCCO-AM. From 9 a.m. to noon every weekday, audiences could tune into WCCO to hear “The John Hines Show.”
“The last 10 years at WCCO were different every day,” Hines recalls. “We didn’t have the music in between … we had many guests.”
Hines retired in 2018, and although he spent much of his life in south Minneapolis, he moved to the Gulf Coast area of Sarasota and Bradenton in Florida after retirement. Though his life is “different,” he stays connected to his Minnesota roots as a spokesperson for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Recently, Hines has been the face for the health insurer’s Medicare offerings, appearing in TV ads and on billboards throughout the state. He’s also hosted a series of webinars for the company, sharing survey data on Minnesota seniors and discussing how people in his age group can stay healthy. Hines, who is divorced and single, still wakes up early each morning, jokingly remarking that this is one habit from his radio days that he can’t seem to shake. He also regularly comes back to Minnesota to visit a son who lives in the Twin Cities. His other son lives in Ireland.
Hines recalls his time on air fondly and is thankful to have made meaningful, genuine connections with listeners. He fills in occasionally on WCCO-AM, appearing as a guest to update listeners about his escapades. Recently, he recounted his experience watching Hurricane Ian batter his Florida home. “My life has pretty much been an open book,” he says. “The absolute best part is when people find out that the person in real life is the person they heard on the radio.”