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Change is never easy, but it is necessary

Throughout the 100+ years they’ve been publishing, the Hancock Record and the Morris Sun Tribune  — like all of the area’s businesses — have evolved to take advantage of new opportunities.  Every single business in our area has changed since it first opened its doors and will continue to change as the market and the community warrant it.  

As you have read, the Hancock Record and Morris Sun Tribune newspapers will be combined into a new weekly publication called, The Stevens County Times, Morris Sun Tribune/Hancock Record, which will publish on Saturdays, beginning on June 17.

These have been difficult decisions to make, but necessary ones in order to continue to deliver quality, local news to these two communities.  

Print advertising revenue has been declining everywhere over the past few years, and that includes our publications, while newsprint and other business costs, including health care, have continued to increase. In west central Minnesota, a challenging agriculture economy has also had an impact. What this means is that we simply cannot continue to do business the same way we have been.  As a result, this newspaper has and will continue to evolve, which means making changes that will allow us to continue to provide our print readers with the best local information at a monthly cost that remains affordable.

Change has been a recurring theme in my 13-year tenure at the Morris Sun Tribune and Hancock Record. Sometimes, changes are exciting, like moving the Morris Sun Tribune to its current location.  Other times, change is, at best, challenging.  But a necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources. Oftentimes, that involves difficult decisions. The degree of difficulty when changing a community newspaper is a notch higher because our business is part of the fabric of life in these two communities.   

Our objective in all of these changes is to provide unparalleled local news and sports coverage for our communities while remaining a profitable and dynamic business. The good news is that we are not eliminating a printed newspaper in either community. We are making some strategic adjustments in order to meet our business objectives.

New print editions of the Stevens County Times, Morris Sun Tribune/Hancock Record will be available via subscription and single-copy purchase on Saturdays starting with the June 17 edition.  The Sun Tribune and the Hancock Record will continue to publish on their current schedule through June 10.  

A new, combined website will also be launched at that time.  

In conjunction with the publication changes, we’ll soon be offering a new service to our readers through a new e-edition.  This should be especially welcome news for our snowbirds and those out-of-area subscribers who often have to wait weeks to get their paper delivered to their mailbox.  More on this service will be shared as it becomes available.  

Meanwhile, we are working to balance our resources, improve our local coverage focus and expand our digital coverage. Content will be continually updated on our website as we renew our commitment to offering readers the latest in local and regional information for easy online access.

We will remain your local newspaper. I invite you to contact us with any feedback or suggestions on what you’d like to see in print and online. We thank you for your continued readership over the years and into the future.