Star Tribune business columnist Eric Wieffering, wooed back from a marketing/communications gig 18 months ago, will now sit a couple of heartbeats away from newsroom domination after being promoted to assistant managing editor for news, according to a staff memo.
Wieffering — who held several executive positions at the Strib before a year-long detour with Haberman and Associates, has long been a favorite of editor Nancy Barnes and Rene Sanchez. He’ll start his new gig in May.
“The search for his successor as a Business columnist will begin immediately,” Barnes and Sanchez write.
Back in September 2010, Wieffering pledged not to write about any Haberman clients for six months, and disclose any conflicts for six months after that. He did not reveal a Minnesota nonprofit he worked with, nor the company’s full client list, citing potential “damage to Haberman from a competitive standpoint.”
To my eyes, anyway, Wieffering’s columns have been well-reported, well-thought-out, and often provocative, so the Strib has some shoes to fill. Wouldn’t it be great if they hired someone who would challenge the business case for a new Vikings stadium?
Anyway, here’s the memo:
We are delighted to announce that our new Assistant Managing Editor for News is Eric Wieffering.Eric is one of the most talented, well-respected journalists in our newsroom. He has a sharp and ambitious eye for stories, a distinguished background in both reporting and editing, and a deep knowledge of local and state issues.As so many of you already know, having worked alongside him, Eric is also an exemplary colleague, whose spirit suits him for this important role as much as his skill.Over the last 18 months, Eric has done an excellent job as a Business columnist, bringing thoughtful perspective to a wide range of topics, and writing with authority and sophistication. We are confident that he will bring the same habits of mind to the hard work of leading our local news coverage.Eric has been with the Star Tribune for more than 13 years. He has been the AME for Metro and Business, AME for Business, interim Investigations Editor, a team leader, and a reporter.Eric thought he was ready to leave journalism behind when he departed the Star Tribune in October 2009 for a job in marketing and PR. He soon realized he was wrong. Instead, in his short time away from the newsroom, Eric rediscovered just how important and invigorating our work is — and the zeal he has for it.We were thrilled to have him back, and excited now to have him returning to newsroom leadership.Eric will begin work in his new role in early May. Meanwhile, the search for his successor as a Business columnist will begin immediately.Please join us in congratulating him.