Rick Weegman’s first foray into the world of newspapers was rather accidental. But that first day on the job was all it took for him to be committed to journalism for the rest of his life.
After the sports editor of the University of Minnesota’s student-run newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, mentioned to Weegman that correspondents were needed to cover the Summer 1990 Olympic Festival, Weegman signed on for the men’s basketball hit, among other things.
The editor commissioned Weegman to go to Williams Arena, home of the Minnesota Gophers and site of Olympic festival practice, to do a preview story.
“I went down there and the first person I spoke to in the arena was [future Pro Basketball Hall of Famer] Shaquille O’Neal, who was a star at Louisiana State at the time,” Weegman recalled. “Everyone knows Shaq as a guy who can’t stop talking, he just goes on and on and on, but he didn’t say a word back in college. It was very difficult to get anything out of him. But that was my beginning; and I was like, ‘People get paid to talk to athletes? And you sit on Center Court and watch the game?’ And I thought, ‘This is for me.’ I was kind of hooked at that point.”
Weegman has remained in the industry ever since, working his way up to editor-in-chief at The Eagle, where he will begin his promotion on Monday. He has worked as a news editor at The Eagle since August 2021.
“Rick is a good journalist with good news judgment,” said Steve Boggs, regional editor of Lee Enterprises in Texas. “As fast as our industry is changing, we still value accuracy and context above all else, and Rick demonstrates an unrelenting commitment to both every day.”
Prior to The Eagle, Weegman spent more than 30 years in the sports departments of various upper Midwest newspapers, where he served as a reporter, editor and department head. He received his BA in Political Science and Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota. He most recently worked at the Duluth News Tribune for 24 years before moving to College Station.
But Aggieland is no stranger to Weegman, who has followed Texas A&M football religiously since childhood.
“I’ve been an A&M football fan since I was 9 years old — no one 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 with everything and thought about going to college here, but it just didn’t work out. Then about a year ago I saw a vacancy down here and I thought, ‘Well, this is my chance to live in College Station.’ So that’s what I did.”
Though he’s taking on the role from an athletic background, Weegman said he takes a slightly different view of the news and hopes to bring more variety of news to Brazos County.
“I’m not from Texas, so again it’s kind of an outsider’s view of things, but I think I get it,” he said. “Having worked here for the past year, we’re a very local newspaper that gives people the latest Brazos County news. I think we’re doing it really well.
“I think we can dig a little deeper into some of the stories and maybe a little bit more difficult news, that’s my goal to get more of what we call ‘companies’ in the industry and some more investigative stories as soon as possible.” we have more staff.”
After all the changes newspapers have seen over the past few decades, Weegman said he’s ready to focus on the digital aspect of news coverage.
“Everyone knows that print has probably peaked and is now sadly going down,” he said. “But digital has a bright future and that’s what we’re going to focus on by releasing lots of videos and getting people to our site to get their news.”
To contact Weegman, email [email protected] with questions or news tips.