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Top Pioneer Press arts editor Raschke leaves for MSP Communications

Heidi Raschke, the Pioneer Press’ senior editor for features and niche publications, is leaving the paper for a job with MSP Communications, which publishes Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, among other titles. Raschke will become MSP’s managing editor for special projects.

In November, MSP grabbed PiPress shopping correspondent Allison Kaplan. Raschke is a former MSP editor.

Raschke, who joined the paper as senior arts/entertainment editor in 2003, is the second third top editor to leave; in April, senior business editor Doug Iverson was laid off but quickly found a job with Dolan Media, publishers of Finance & Commerce. [Update: A third senior editor, photographer Hillery Smith Shay, was also laid off in recent weeks.]

Last month, the paper informed employees that they would have to take an unpaid week off before year’s end.

Two weeks after Iverson left, the St. Paul paper named Opinion Page Editor Mike Burbach as editor and vice president. Burbach’s former position has not been filled, though the paper says it is looking.

In his staff memo (below), Burbach notes, “We will be discussing the direction of the department and future hiring in the coming days.” Raschke (who was not immediately available for comment) says in the memo, “I believe in the Pioneer Press,” but departs due to “a great offer.”

Here’s the memo:

Heidi Raschke is leaving the Pioneer Press to become Managing Editor for special projects at MSP Communications, publishers of Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine and several niche magazines. Her last day here will be July 22. 

“I’m fortunate to be leaving a great job to accept a great offer,” Heidi told me. “I believe in the Pioneer Press — our news and niche strategies are working, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the few years I’ve been here. It was a tough decision.”

Heidi came to the paper eight years ago as the Senior Editor for Arts and Entertainment. She brought with her a wealth of experience covering music and the arts, having recently finished a four-year stint at Request Magazine. She had also been an online innovator, working with Microsoft’s Sidewalk before such sites were common. And, of course, she had worked at the PiPress in its online infancy, as a web producer for sports and news. Prior to that, she was a copy editor, critic and reporter for the Twin Cities Reader and an editor at MSP Communications. (She’s a Gopher as well, having served time at the Daily.) 

These experiences combined to make her a highly creative editor who can work easily across platforms and innovate as needed. She’s been the perfect leader to guide our moves from traditional/for-the-paper A&E and features coverage to adding MinnMoms, e-mail newsletters including a popular Christmas cookie product, podcasts for the A&E reporters, tech coverage and Spaces magazine.

We are sad to see Heidi go, and we of course wish her success in her new job.

For the time being, Sue Campbell will direct the features department, with Amy Nelson, Kathy Berdan and Kathie Jenkins reporting directly to her. We will be discussing the direction of the department and future hiring in the coming days.


Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Rick Ellis on 07/08/2011 - 12:57 pm.

    I’m sorry to see her go, but this is a good chance to reboot the PIP’s entertainment coverage. As a newspaper, they do a decent job, but as a multiple-platform news provider….well, they could do a lot better. At least in my opinion.

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