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Helmut Schmidt, Published May 08 2009

McFeely resigns from The Forum, plans to take new job

Longtime Forum sportswriter, columnist and WDAY radio personality Mike McFeely resigned Thursday to take a position with KFGO radio as an afternoon talk show host.

KFGO officials said “The Mike McFeely Show” will debut on AM 790 May 26.

“He was the first thing when I opened up the paper that I’d read,” KFGO Operations Manager Joel Heitkamp said. “What I loved about Mike is that he had an opinion” and didn’t treat people who disagreed with disrespect. “When I recruited him to come here … we were just looking for a person of quality that fits in on a team.”

McFeely’s resignation was announced by Editor Matt Von Pinnon in an e-mail to Forum newsroom staff.

“Mike has been a great employee for us and this was a very difficult decision for him. Please wish him well,” Von Pinnon wrote.

McFeely said the decision was tough.

“First of all, I want to say that I had tremendous opportunities for 20-plus years at The Forum. I’m 42 years old, and I’ve worked there 23 years of my life,” McFeely said. “KFGO has given me a great opportunity, and it’s too good to pass up.

“I’ll always be an ink-stained wretch, and I’ll say that with pride. I’m very proud to be a lifetime newspaper man,” McFeely said.

McFeely, a native of Alexandria, Minn., started at The Forum as a 19-year-old working part time on the sports staff while attending Minnesota State University Moorhead.

After graduating from MSUM, he worked for a time at papers in Alexandria and Owatonna, Minn.

He started full time at The Forum in September 1990 on the sports copy desk, later becoming a high school and college beat writer.

He moved to a sports columnist position in 1997, and earlier this year was named news columnist. He also began hosting “The Mike McFeely Show” daily on WDAY AM radio.

McFeely had also done two WDAY Saturday morning shows for about five years before stepping into the afternoon radio anchor spot. They were “The WDAY Golf Show” and “The Saturday Morning Sports Show.”

“I felt like I had the plum job in the Forum newspaper room. It was a dream job for a newspaper guy,” McFeely said.

McFeely and Heitkamp will hold a news conference today at the Radio Fargo-Moorhead studios.

McFeely, his wife, Michelle, and their 8-year-old daughter, Emma, live in Moorhead.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583