Rick Weegman’s first foray into the world of newspapers came by happenstance. But that first day on the job was all he needed to be hooked into journalism for life.
After the sports editor of the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota’s student-run paper, mentioned to Weegman that correspondents were needed to cover the Olympic Festival in the summer of 1990, Weegman signed up for the men’s basketball beat, among others.
The editor assigned Weegman to go to Williams Arena, home of the Minnesota Gophers and the site of Olympic Festival practices to write a preview story.
“I went down there and the first person I talked to at the arena was [future Pro Basketball Hall of Famer] Shaquille O’Neal, who at the time was a star with Louisiana State,” Weegman recalled. “Everybody knows Shaq as a guy who can’t stop talking, he just keeps going and going and going, but he didn’t say a word back in college. It was very difficult to try and get anything out of him. But that was my start; and I thought ‘People get paid for this to go talk to sports guys? And you sit at center court and watch the game?’ And I thought, ‘This is for me.’ I was kind of hooked at that point in time.”
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Weegman has stayed in the industry ever since and made his way up to managing editor at The Eagle, where he will assume his promotion as of Monday. He has worked at The Eagle since August 2021 as news editor.
“Rick is a good journalist with solid news judgement,” said Steve Boggs, regional editor for Lee Enterprises in Texas. “As quickly as our industry is changing, we still value accuracy and context over everything else, and Rick demonstrates an unyielding commitment to both every day.”
Prior to his time at The Eagle, Weegman spent more than 30 years in sports departments at various daily newspapers in the Upper Midwest, working as a reporter, copy editor and department chief. He graduated with degrees in political science and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. Most recently he worked for 24 years at the Duluth News Tribune before moving to College Station.
But Aggieland is not foreign to Weegman, who has followed Texas A&M football religiously since he was a child.
“I have been an A&M football fan since I was 9 — nobody else loved A&M or knew who A&M was when I was in Minnesota,” he said. “I was the only kid I knew who grew up liking everything about it and thought about going to college here but it just didn’t work out. Then I saw an opening down here a year or so ago and I thought, ‘Well, this is my chance to live in College Station.’ So that is what I did.”
Though he enters the role with a sports background, Weegman said he has a slightly different take on the news and hopes to bring more variety of news stories to Brazos County.
“I am not from Texas, so again it is kind of an outsider look at things, but I think I am getting the grasp of it,” he said. “Having worked here the past year, we are a very local-centric paper that gives the Brazos County news to people. I think we do a really good job of that.
“I think we can dig a little deeper into some of the stories and perhaps a little bit harder news, that is my goal to get more of what we term ‘enterprise’ in the industry and some more investigative stories once we get more fully staffed.”
After all of the changes newspapers have seen in the last few decades, Weegman said he is ready to focus on the digital aspect of covering news stories.
“Everybody knows that the print product has probably reached its peak and is now headed down, unfortunately,” he said. “But digital has a bright future and that is what we are going to be focusing on by getting a lot of videos out there and getting people to our website and getting their news that way.”
To contact Weegman, email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or news tips.