Tim McGuire: From Editor To Columnist

By: Dave Astor

For nearly 30 years as an editor, one of Tim McGuire’s responsibilities was buying syndicated features. “Now I’m a person having his feature purchased,” he said. “Wondering if editors will buy it is a different kind of experience!”

McGuire, 53, who retired this June as editor and senior vice president of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is writing a column called “More Than Work” that United Feature Syndicate will launch Oct. 7.

The weekly feature will discuss how people can find more meaning and purpose at their jobs, and touch on values and spirituality in the workplace. But the column won’t be religious per se.

“I don’t know the source of this, but it has been said that religion is the set of answers and spirituality is the set of questions,” commented McGuire. His column will try to guide readers to ask themselves the questions that might help them make their jobs more fulfilling.

“My search will be different than your search,” he said. “I don’t give prescriptions, but I give tips.”

McGuire, not wanting to scoop his own column, declined to offer examples of these tips. But he’ll often discuss the importance of people treating other people well in the workplace. And McGuire said people can find more meaning in their jobs even if they have problem bosses.

While today’s faltering economy makes it tough to launch a new feature, McGuire thinks his column might resonate at a time when people are searching for more meaning in their lives after the Sept. 11 attacks and the corporate-corruption scandals. So far, United has already sold “More Than Work” to papers such as The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, The Oregonian of Portland, The Sacramento Bee, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It also doesn’t hurt that many in the business know McGuire from a high-profile career that included a term as immediate past president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

He’s also a lay preacher in a Catholic church who has taken courses on work and spirituality at St. Thomas University in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

McGuire — who credited United National Sales Director John Matthews for suggesting he turn his work/spirituality interests into a column — is also spending his post-Star Tribune time speaking and writing two books.

Why did he leave the Star Tribune? “I was there 22 years,” he replied. “It was time for the second phase of my life.”

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