Tom Weber interviews St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell in 2016. Star Tribune photo by Elizabeth Flores
Tom Weber, a longtime personality at Minnesota Public Radio, announced Wednesday he's leaving the station. The news came roughly six months after the journalist lost his morning talk show after telling management that he was having a romantic relationship with Peggy Flanagan, the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz.
"I just decided I wasn't getting any younger," Weber said in a phone interview. "It was time to take a chance and see what else is out there."
Weber, who joined the station 10 years ago, got his own program in 2014, but was shifted to another position that would not suggest a conflict of interest, a challenge in an era where politics permeates so much of news cycle.
Weber said losing his own show played a small role in his decision to leave, but that it was not the main reason. He does not have another job lined up.
"My ideal next assignment or job would be something where I get to camp many nights of the week in different places," said Weber, who was calling in from a wooded area, on his way to one of his last MPR assignments. "Maybe a professional hiker."
Weber hasn't decided yet whether he'll be hitting the campaign trail.
"I really love Peggy and I really want to support her, but I have to weigh that against my background as a journalist," he said. "I'm a little timid about it."
Nancy Cassutt, executive director for MPR News and programming, called Weber a "superstar."
"He's multi-talented and has done so much to bring new audiences to MPR News," she said. "We will miss him, his humor, and all that he brought to MPR during his 10 years here. We wish him all the best."