By Tim Leeds
Havre Daily News Managing Editor Matt Walen has announced that he is leaving The Havre Daily News to start a new job with The Billings Gazette, starting Wednesday, April 11.
"(It's an) opportunity that I can't pass up," Walen said about his new job.
Walen said he will continue to edit the Daily News through Tuesday, April 10, then drive to Billings and start his new job the next day. Walen will be a news designer at The Gazette, responsible for designing and laying out pages. He said he will be setting up cover pages, inside pages and specialty sections.
Daily News Publisher Harvey Brock said Havre native Alan Sorensen will be the interim managing editor while a search is conducted for a permanent managing editor.
Brock said his organization would like to thank Walen for his hard work and his part in the improvements that have been made during his years with the paper.
"While we will miss Matt, we wish him the best in his new position at The Billings Gazette," Brock said.
Walen said he was offered his new position in late March, and has been busy getting ready for the move. He spent the last weekend finding a place to live and will be spending this weekend moving from his Havre home into his new Billings home.
Walen, who received his bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Montana in 1990, worked at the Lewistown News-Argus from 1991-94. He started as a reporter at The Daily News in 1994, and worked as wire editor from 1998 to December 1999, when he started as managing editor.
He said while working for the largest newspaper and the largest newspaper corporation in the state offers more opportunity to move on and up, he won't forget this community.
"Havre will always be home," Walen said.