Rob Levine, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, graduated with a BA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in Journalism in 1980. He attended graduate school in Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, from 1980-1983. He worked as a staff photographer at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 1983-1987, and has worked as a freelance photographer and computer consultant in Minneapolis since that time.
In 1998 Levine, Mike Tronnes, and others founded Cursor, Inc., a Minnesota non-profit corporation dedicated to media education and criticism, and began publishing www.Cursor.org. Later, in 1999, Levine created the website www.MediaTransparency.org, itself an outgrowth of a project begun by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) that analyzed the grant making of a dozen conservative philanthropies.
In 2000 Cursor became a 501(c)(3), a status which was granted by the IRS in July of 2000.
Levine works in a studio in the warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis, and lives in Minneapolis with his wife.
Mike Tronnes was born, raised and educated in Minnesota, attending the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where he minored in communications, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he received a B.A. in journalism and history in 1977. He also completed the Stanford Professional Publishing Course in 1994.
In addition to editing Cursor, Tronnes is a publishing consultant, specializing in advertising sales and marketing for independent publications. He was the advertising director at Utne Reader for nine years, growing annual ad revenue from $50,000 to $2.5 million, by successfully positioning the independent title to attract a combination of mainstream and alternative advertisers.
Since leaving, he has consulted for numerous publications, including Utne Reader, Sierra, DoubleTake, Mother Jones and Shambhala Sun. He has also edited two critically acclaimed literary anthologies, "Closers: Great American Writers on the Art of Selling" and "Literary Las Vegas."
Tronnes lives and works in Minneapolis.
The Cursor, Inc. board of directors includes the president, Rob Levine, and vice president, Mike Tronnes. It also includes Dave Johnson of Seeing The Forest blog, multimedia producer Patrick O'Leary of Minneapolis, philanthropy advisor Steve Paprocki of St. Paul and Michael Griffin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.