MinnPost news editor Don Effenberger retires

Don Effenberger
MinnPost file photo by Jana Freiband
Don Effenberger

Late Friday afternoon, news editor Don Effenberger will head out the door at MinnPost world headquarters in Minneapolis for the good life of ocean cruises with his wife, Pat, extended time with his family and viewing old films on Turner Classic Movies any time he pleases.

One of MinnPost’s original editors when the site was launched in the fall of 2007, Don is retiring after more than 40 years of journalism in the Twin Cities.

Don will be missed by MinnPost’s staff, its readers and me. (Especially by me. Don did all the work and I took all the credit. Something I learned in management school.)

Don’s a local guy who understands state and local politics about as well as any journalist in town. He majored in journalism at the University of St. Thomas, started working as a reporter and then news editor at the Catholic Bulletin, and later moved on to the St. Paul Pioneer Press and MinnPost.

He’s been our chief political editor for years, as well as handling many other duties, including getting up at the awful hour of 5 a.m. each weekday to edit the Morning Glean. He also wrote our popular Listing Slightly post, a collection of quirky, quick-read lists on everything pop culture from movies to music. Over the years, Don wrote, edited and supervised hundreds of articles for MinnPost. In addition to his Listing Slightly work, he says his favorite MinnPost effort was the 2013 “Battle for Control” series on who would control the 2013 Legislature.

One of the joys of sitting next to Don in the newsroom (there are many, including learning a lot of terrific lines from old movies) is to overhear his conversation with a reporter after reading the first-draft of an article. He would usually begin with a sincere compliment, but would invariably get around to saying, in his best Columbo voice, “But I’ve just got a couple of questions…”

And they were always smart questions — questions that clarified a point, challenged a faulty premise or filled a hole in the story. Reporters may have found the inquiries annoying at first, but in the end were glad they were asked because they raised the quality of their articles.

They were questions thoughtful readers would have wondered about as well, but didn’t have to ask because Don was on the job on their behalf.

Roger Buoen is MinnPost’s executive editor.

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Sarah Janecek on 03/27/2014 - 10:07 am.

    Congratulations!

    Always a pleasure working with you. Congrats on a great career. Have a ball in your next life chapter!

  2. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 03/27/2014 - 10:11 am.

    It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy…

    A wave of the newsroom fedora to the affable Effenberger.

    Best of luck in retirement.

  3. Submitted by Steven Dornfeld on 03/27/2014 - 11:10 am.

    Best wishes!

    All the best, Don. You’re a wonderful editor and I’ve enjoyed working with you.

  4. Submitted by Don Effenberger on 03/27/2014 - 12:24 pm.

    Thanks for the good wishes

    Thanks, Sarah. Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Steve.

    It’s been my honor and privilege to be part of this wonderful organization since Day One. MinnPost’s future is very bright.

  5. Submitted by Jay Weiner on 03/27/2014 - 01:53 pm.

    Good luck, Don

    Don is the straw that stirs MinnPost’s drink … and a sweetheart of a guy. Enjoy those grandchildren!

  6. Submitted by Beth Hawkins on 03/27/2014 - 02:12 pm.

    Good luck and many many thanks

    I’ve been grateful for the safety net of Don’s Columbo questions since launch day. You’ll be sorely missed!  

  7. Submitted by Pat Borzi on 03/27/2014 - 02:29 pm.

    All the best

    I’ve told Don this already — he’s one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with, a pro’s pro who handled an impossible workload with a steady hand and good cheer. Whether you work in an office, on a farm, or in a construction crew, if it’s well-run, there are handful of solid, dependable people who hold everything together. That’s Don. Enjoy the next adventure, my friend, wherever it takes you and Pat.

  8. Submitted by David Wright on 03/27/2014 - 02:36 pm.

    Say it ain’t so

    Don:

    Best wishes on your retirement. I’m jealous. But I am also very thankful that you edited my offerings so well. I will always appreciate it and have always enjoyed your work.

    Journalism — online or otherwise — needs more folks like you.

  9. Submitted by Don Effenberger on 03/27/2014 - 04:30 pm.

    More thank yous

    Thanks, Jay. Thanks, Beth. Thanks, Pat. Thanks, Dave.

    Your comments mean a lot to me. Glad to have been part of MinnPost and see it grow and prosper.

  10. Submitted by Doug Grow on 03/27/2014 - 09:27 pm.

    Who is this guy?

    Baffled by all the praise from journalists for an  editor who seemed to take delight in turning our poetry into often understandable English. (Actually, he is the best. He’s put up with all of us  — generally with a smile.) 

  11. Submitted by Daryl Gerke on 04/01/2014 - 04:05 pm.

    Best Wishes

    All the best in your retirement!

    Daryl & Mary Lou Gerke

Leave a Reply