Staff report twincities.com
Posted: 04/26/2013 12:01:00 AM CDT
April 27, 2013 4:27 AM GMTUpdated: 04/26/2013 11:27:51 PM CDT
Michael W. Wegner – renowned as the often brash yet always down-to-earth Michael J. “Donuts” Douglas on KSTP-FM’s popular “Knapp & Donuts” morning show — died this week in western Wisconsin, colleagues said. He was 65.
Together with his partner, Chuck Knapp, the “Knapper,” Donuts ruled the airwaves at KSTP-FM for a dozen years, from 1979 to 1994. Donuts’ trademark gravelly voice would wake listeners up with an often-sarcastic reading of the news, followed by a scornful, “no comment.”
Wegner said he received his nickname early on from an nephew, who thought “Donuts” sounded better than plain old Douglas. His earthy persona was singular, loud and opinionated — but rarely caustic.
“When I listen to the radio these days and I hear someone say, ‘Why doesn’t he get a goddamned job?’ I think to myself, ‘Did he have to say it that way?’ ” Wegner said in a 1998 interview with Pioneer Press columnist Don Boxmeyer, several years after he left the business.
“I talked about life on the air, and I talked about my life. When my German shepherd got shot and when my brother-in-law died, I talked about it and I cried because that’s life. I dealt with it on the air. You can’t be funny every day,” he added.
KS95 station owners eventually decided to change their lineup, Wegner noted at the time, and he left the station in 1994, several months after Knapp.
“The dark suits and the demographers would say … if it’s not on the cover of People magazine, we don’t want to
Still, Wegner said he “always got along with Hubbard,” the owner of the KSTP radio and television properties.
Wegner moved to a ranch near Osceola, where he reared black Percheron draft horses. In additional to being a private pilot, he was an avid hunter and fisherman.
Born in Portsmouth, Va., Wegner graduated from Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights in 1965. After high school, he joined the Minnesota National Guard and attended Brown Institute.
Wegner died unexpectedly Wednesday, April 25, at Osceola Medical Center.
He is survived by his wife, Cassie; daughter Amy Stanton; son Michael Wegner Jr.; stepdaughters Wendy Pressnall and Debby Clark; stepson David Parsons; father Rudy Wegner, sisters Kitty and Aleta Wegner; and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Grandstrand Funeral Home in Osceola.