Michael Wegner, best known by his radio moniker Michael “Donuts” Douglas, helped make KS95 the country’s most popular FM station in the 1980s.
While program director Chuck Knapp was technically the boss on their morning show “Knapp & Donuts,” it was his partner’s homespun and often cranky personality that defined the program.
“When he disagreed with a news story, he would take the paper he was reading from, crumple it up so listeners could hear and throw it away,” Knapp said. “That was his idea of editorial commentary.”
Wegner, 65, died Wednesday. From 1979 to 1994, “Knapp & Donuts” was one of the hottest morning shows in the Twin Cities, mixing contemporary music with listeners’ calls and light bickering.
Born in Portsmouth, Va., Wegner moved with his family to Minnesota, graduating in 1965 from Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights. Once he made it big, he moved to a horse farm in Osceola, Wis., where he seemingly lived a simple life, but he was always up for an adventure, whether it was learning how to fly stunt planes or climbing on a bull in a rodeo.
“My dad always pounded into me, ‘Be an individual,’ ” Wegner told the Star Tribune in 1987. “One of the first stations I worked for wanted me to be Paul Harvey. That’s bull. I’ve got to be who I am.”
Wegner had had close calls in the past, including a recent bout with prostate cancer. He once fell out of a tree and was in a coma for two weeks. But on Wednesday, his luck ran out. According to Knapp, his friend was on his computer when his wife went to bed. A few hours later, she heard an ominous sound. When she went to Wegner’s music room, she discovered that her husband had fallen and hit his head on one of the speakers. He was pronounced dead at Osceola Medical Center. The reason for the fall is undetermined.
Memorials are requested to the American Cancer Society. A visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Osceola.
Wegner wished to be cremated. According to Knapp, the plan is to sprinkle his ashes over a horse pasture.
Neal Justin • 612-673-7431