Job Shadow: Leader-Telegram editor shares his story

By Sydney Purpora

Editor at the Leader-Telegram, Don Huebscher, gets ready to read his work in the newspaper. © Sydney Purpora

Don Huebscher, the editor at the Leader-Telegram, reads his published work in the local newspaper. © 2015 Sydney Purpora

Editors are the eyes and the ears of a newspaper. Don Huebscher is the editor at the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis.

Huebscher graduated from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater in 1975. He majored in journalism with a minor in political science and history. Huebscher ended his academic career aspiring to be a sports editor.

After graduation, Huebscher landed his first job writing at the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wis. Huebscher got experience in the field and a few years later got to fulfill his aspirations.

In 1978, Huebscher made the move to the Janesville Gazette in Janesville, Wis. He first started out as a sports reporter, then became a city government reporter and finally associate editor.

Huebscher made his final switch to the Leader-Telegram in 1987 where he was managing editor for 12 years. In 1999, he became editor and still is today.

Most newspapers are now part of chains and have been bought out by large corporations. The Leader-Telegram is one of the last family owned newspapers and has been for more than 130 years, according to its website.

Huebscher has worked for only family owned newspapers throughout his whole career.

“I have never worked for a chain newspaper,” Huebscher said. “I feel very lucky.”

Throughout his career, Huebscher has overcome many struggles.

Huebscher had the misfortune of graduating during a time when the economy was bad. He had a hard time finding his first job.

Later in his career, Huebscher was faced with the new challenge of raising a family. This challenge caused him to leave sports reporting.

Although sports reporting was a great experience for Huebscher, he found something more important.

“After you have a family and you go through things and you have people close to you pass away, all of a sudden the outcome of a ball game just doesn’t seem all that important to me,” Huebscher said.

Huebscher said in college he never thought he would stray away from sports reporting, but now he is happy he did.

In the end, Huebscher said these decisions taught him to have an open mind and be prepared for anything.

“You have to be open to maybe having your career go a path you didn’t think it would go,” Huebscher said.

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