By Brett Nachtigall
EDGEMONT — The printed news source for the community of Edgemont and the surrounding area has seen its share of change over the years, from the Edgemont Express in the early 1900s, to the Edgemont Tribune through the 1950s, and then the Edgemont Herald-Tribune from 1960 through today.
Next week, beginning with the Dec. 7, 2017, issue, the name on the front of the Edgemont Herald Tribune will change to the new Fall River County Herald. According to the newspaper’s owner, this new publication will make its debut next week with the goal to strongly serve not only the community of Edgemont, but also its neighbors to the north in Hot Springs, Oelrichs and all parts in between.
“Changing from publishing just the Edgemont Herald Tribune to a county-wide newspaper was a decision we made as a team after much consideration,” said Tim Huether, owner of the Herald Tribune. “Publishing newspapers in small town South Dakota is very difficult, especially with a one person staff, and the revenue is just not there to sustain it. By taking this big step, it will help ensure Edgemont continues to have news coverage on a weekly basis for a long time, and it allows us to reach the entire Fall River area to keep a newspaper designated to the other communities.”
“My philosophy has always been, give them a good newspaper first, and worry about your bottom line second,” added Huether. “This day and age, too many businesses are focused on a target percentage of profit first, product later, no matter what. In the newspaper business, you have to prove yourself every week with the latest edition and if you don’t continually provide the newspaper with the resources it needs, it will starve and your revenue will starve right along with it.”
In addition to the Herald office in downtown Edgemont, the Fall River County Herald will also soon open a second location in Hot Springs. The newspaper itself will continue to be printed in Martin at the main offices of Huether Publishing - a family-owned newspaper company, which has owned the Edgmont Herald-Tribune since 2012. Huether Publishing also includes four other weekly newspapers — the Bennett County Booster (Martin), Mellette County News (White River), Todd County Tribune (Mission) and the Sheridan County Journal Star (Gordon, Neb.)
What can readers of the new Fall River County Herald expect?
Every week the front page news will feature full color photos with news and happenings from both Hot Springs and Edgemont, as well as from throughout the county, with additional local coverage inside on pages specifically designated for those towns. In addition, the same community events, calendars, puzzles, opinion submissions, police and court news that you’ve come to know will also continue.
Sports and school coverage will also be expanded with full color sports photos, features, schedules and results, including Herald High School Athletes of the Week from each of the schools we serve.
With plans for expanded coverage, the newspaper is also expanding its staff.
Brett Nachtigall, who was the publisher of the Hot Springs Star for the past 16 years, will serve as publisher of the Fall River County Herald. He is a native of Fall River County and graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1990. He serves on several local boards and organizations, including the Hot Springs Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the Fall River County Fair Board.
Amber Schumacher, the current managing editor of the Edgemont Herald Tribune, will continue to oversee the office in downtown Edgemont and provide news coverage of local town events. The newspaper plans to add at least one more writer to help with local Edgemont coverage.
Sheryl Grimes, the former Production Manager of the Hot Springs Star for 28 years, will serve in that same role with the Fall River County Herald at its soon-to-be-opened Hot Springs location. Grimes is also a Fall River County native who has lived in the area her entire life.
Familiar local writers Cathy Nelson and Karen Yekel will also be covering local events and providing local news stories, with plans to add additional writers and staff to the newspaper in the coming weeks.
For more information, or to speak to a staff member of the Fall River County Herald about advertising or subscriptions, call 745-3930 (Hot Springs) or 662-7201 (Edgemont).