Former Wis. publisher Graaskamp dies at 79

  • Associated Press
  • October 9, 2013 - 7:20 PM

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Former Leader-Telegram publisher Charles Graaskamp, who championed freedom of information and oversaw construction of a new printing plant for the newspaper, has died at age 79.

Graaskamp, of Eau Claire, died Tuesday night at home of cancer, Leader-Telegram editor Don Huebscher said.

Graaskamp spent 42 years with the Eau Claire Press Co. and was former company president. He retired in 2001 but continued to serve on the family-owned company's board of directors.

Graaskamp led the Press Co. through a period of growth that included construction of a new printing plant in Eau Claire that opened in 1998. Besides the Leader-Telegram, the Press Co. also publishes the weekly Country Today newspaper focusing on rural life.

Grasskamp was active in a number of community and professional organizations, including the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, serving as the group's president in 1997.

Graaskamp also was a defender of freedom of information efforts, the Leader-Telegram ( reported. In 1988 he was honored by the Milwaukee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his efforts to obtain a court of appeals decision establishing that out-of-court settlements involving minors should be available to the public.

His son, Pieter, is the current Eau Claire Press Co. president and Leader-Telegram publisher. Another son, Dan, serves as vice president of sales and marketing, and son-in-law Mike Carlson is director of marketing and circulation.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire.

© 2018 Star Tribune