Correction: The print edition of this story incorrectly listed Martin Cody's departure date.
A Havre native and long-time employee of the Havre Daily News said she wants to continue in the company’s mission now that she has taken over as publisher of the newspaper.
“We’re striving to be the best community newspaper up and down the Hi-Line, ” Stacy Mantle said this morning.
Mantle was hired as publisher to take the place of Martin Cody, who left Aug. 26 to take the leadership at the Ottumwa Courier in Iowa after a year-and-a-half with the Havre Daily.
Rob Hicks of Buffalo, Wyo., who owns the Havre Daily with his wife, Jen Hicks, and partners, Gary and Sue Stevenson of Sheridan, Wyo., said they are excited to see Mantle take over the position.
“We’re excited to have a local woman take the helm, ” Hicks said. “We’re proud of that. We’re proud of being able to promote from within. ”
He said Mantle is a great example of taking a local resident who has worked at the paper a long time and worked her way up being promoted to the top position.
Mantle, a 1996 Havre High School graduate, received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Montana State University-Northern in the spring of 2000, and started working as a graphic designer for the Havre Daily July 26 of that year.
She was promoted to advertising director, and was serving in that position when she applied for the publisher job.
She lives in Havre with her husband, Bob Mantle, and they are raising their 3½-year-old son, Reed.
Hicks said that her relationship with the community, and the newspaper, was a top reason why the owners selected Mantle. Other applicants had experience as publishers, he added.
“We have experience working with her, and her abilities and her rapport with the staff and the community, ” he said. “She absolutely nailed the interview, and we’re really excited to have a local Havre resident rising to the level of publisher. ”
Mantle said she will continue to push for strong, local coverage of news.
“To get the community news out there, keep the community informed of what’s going on within the community and outside the area …, ” she said, adding, “we try to attend as many events as we possibly can, with the staff we have, and will continue to do that. ”
Hicks said that is their focus as owners of the Havre Daily and other community papers.
“I think in Havre we do a really good job of what a community newspaper is supposed to do, which is to cover the news of the community, ” he said, “to both reflect the values of the community and hopefully provide leadership to make the community a better place. ”
That is part of the reason Mantle was hired, Hicks said.
“We can’t make that determination for Havre, Montana. We don’t live there, ” he said. “But, a longtime resident like Stacy, and the staff of the Havre Daily News, who are in and out every day, they can make that determination. They can help lead the newspaper and lead the community. ”
He said that kind of focus is the future of the newspaper industry. While papers in larger, metropolitan areas were cutting staff or even closing during the 2008-09 recession, the Hicks and Stevensons kept all of the staff of all of their newspapers, he said.
“It’s about mattering to the community, ” Hicks said. “If we don’t cover the news of the community, we cease to matter. ”
Mantle said she expects to keep the newspaper mattering to the community and reporting the news here.
“Until I retire, ” Mantle said. “This is the last step in my career, so I hope to finish it out here. ”