Media Moves

Tribune and Focus newspapers announce newsroom changes

January 19, 2022

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Marie Johnson, Nathan Bowe, Vicki Gerdes and Michael Achterling

The following excerpt note was sent out by the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus:

The Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus editorial team is under newly restructured leadership.

The two newspapers are owned by Forum Communications Company, headquartered in Fargo.

Marie Johnson, Managing Editor

Johnson has been working at community newspapers for more than 20 years. She attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and graduated with a bachelor of arts in journalism in 2002.

She’s worked as a reporter, editor, page designer, website administrator, photographer and special sections coordinator at newspapers in New London, Wisconsin, as well as Grand Rapids, Perham and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. As managing editor, Johnson is the primary contact for internal company communications involving editorial staff, and she helps facilitate company-wide initiatives to the rest of the local editorial team. She also leads team meetings and oversees hiring and other personnel issues within the editorial department.

Nathan Bowe, News Editor

Bowe has worked as reporter, editor and news editor of the Tribune since 2001. He has also worked at newspapers in Bemidji, Fargo, and Wahpeton, N.D. since graduating from North Dakota State University in 1989.

Bowe covers the Becker County Board and the court system for the Tribune, and handles the opinion pages for the Tribune and Focus. As news editor of both papers, he is the go-to contact person for readers and the general public: breaking or hard news tips, story ideas, questions and general feedback should be directed to him.

Michael Achterling, Multimedia Lead

Achterling graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in professional journalism from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. During his time there, he covered the state legislature for the Minnesota Daily and also interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

He is originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota and is a proud graduate of the School of Environmental Studies and Eastview High School. As multimedia lead, Achterling oversees digital content for the Tribune and Focus.

Vicki Gerdes, Community News Lead

Gerdes has been a reporter for the Tribune since October 2000.

A native of Madelia, Minnesota, Gerdes graduated from Hamline University in 1988 with a degree in English literature (writing emphasis).

After beginning her journalism career in 1989, Gerdes worked for newspapers in Fairmont, Redwood Falls and St. James, Minnesota, prior to accepting the position in Detroit Lakes. She has also worked as a freelance writer in Belize, and has worked part-time at a local bookstore and the Becker County Museum.

In addition to her duties with the Tribune, Gerdes is in the process of writing a book for the museum, tentatively titled, “The People of Becker County.”


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