In its 18th year as owner of the Bowman County Pioneer, Country Media is taking another step to strengthen its Montana/North Dakota paid-subscription newspapers.
Eighteen months ago, Country Media asked one of its senior managers, Frank Perea, to relocate to North Dakota to help with improvements taking place at the company’s weekly newspapers in Bowman, Hettinger, New England and Killdeer, ND, and Baker, MT.
Perea’s background has included sales and general management positions with weekly and daily newspaper companies in locations stretching westward from Chicago to the Oregon coast.
Now, a year and a half later, the company has brought in another news professional. Chris Slone, formerly editor of the daily newspaper in Portsmouth, OH, has been named editor and publisher of the Bowman County Pioneer.
He and his family now are living in Bowman.
Slone also will serve as group editor of Country Media’s four other local print and digital publications, where he’ll be a resource for writing, editing, photography and news judgment responsibilities.
A journalism graduate of Morehead State University in Kentucky, Slone was an award-winning sports writer and editor before moving into management.
Perea, meantime, has added three Oregon newspapers to his list of responsibilities. When he’s required to be in Oregon, Slone will serve in Perea’s place as executive publisher of Country Media’s Dakota/Montana group.
Meantime, as the company sharpens its focus on subscriber-supported publications and websites, it will cease printing its weekly Finder shopping guide after Jan. 31.
As an alternative to The Finder, businesses will be able to place their ad in Country Media’s four newspapers that serve subscribers in Bowman, Hettinger, New England and Baker.
“Our future lies with meeting the news and marketing needs of our subscribers,” said Perea. “Our destiny isn’t with free newspapers mailed to a geographical collection of households.
“We’re concentrating on adding value to the media products that people are willing to buy. That, in turn, adds value for the businesses that advertise in those products.”