New editor joins Daily Herald staff; Baldus returns to his parents’ hometown

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A newspaperman whose career has spanned four states, including Idaho, is the new managing editor of the Austin Daily Herald.

Christopher Baldus, 48

Christopher Baldus, 48, a graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, has joined the Daily Herald staff taking the reins from Jason Schoonover, who is pursuing other interests.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity to join this community where my parents grew up and to be part of a newspaper with a strong commitment to service,” Baldus said.

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Baldus most recently was a reporter for the La Crosse, Wis., Tribune. It was his second stint with the paper. He began his career in 1991 with the Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch where he designed advertisements and was the sports editor.

“Chris was a perfect choice for our community newspaper,” said Daily Herald publisher, Jana Gray. “He brings many years of experience of managing and leading newsrooms.”

He has been a reporter, photographer, graphic designer and served in various editor posts at newspapers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Idaho. He has won individual and team awards at each stop in each role.

“In Idaho, we were in Twin Falls, which is where Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon,” he said. “I had an electric toothbrush depicting the launch ramp and rocket bike when I was a kid. Like the jump, it shorted out quickly.”

He and his wife, Dawn, have five children ranging in age from 10 to 16, each of whom are student musicians. With the exception of the youngest, who is beginning cello and wants to add trombone when the opportunity arises, they all play in the Charles City School District orchestra and band programs.

“We’re very excited about the Austin music programs and joining them as soon as possible,” Baldus said.

Baldus is the son of Lester and Sandra Baldus. Lester Baldus is a graduate of Pacelli Catholic Schools and Sandra (Baxter) Baldus is an Austin High School grad.

Baldus is an Eagle Scout from Troop 395 in St. Paul Park, Minn., and played college football at the NAIA Division II and NCAA Division III levels.