Trio of Buffalo County newspapers to merge
by Beth Kraft
After a 130-year press run as the Mondovi Herald-News, the newspaper will be changing its masthead to the Buffalo County News starting next week to reflect a merger of the county’s three newspapers.
Beginning August 6, the Mondovi Herald-News, Buffalo County Journal, and Cochrane Fountain-City Recorder will join together to form one publication.
Mike Stumpf, publisher of all three newspapers and owner of their parent company, Media One, says talks regarding the merger started about three years ago, but the economic fallout generated by COVID-19 “forced our hands.”
“The economic situation we are currently in today is the main factor,” stated Stumpf. “We are constantly trying to make ourselves more efficient and keep costs down while still producing an information-filled paper. By publishing three different newspapers in Buffalo County, we have a lot of redundancy. By combining the three papers it will allow us to get a better price on printing of the paper.”
Readers of the new Buffalo County News can continue to expect a variety of quality area news at the same level they have enjoyed for decades, Stumpf said.
Historically the Mondovi Herald has included much of the same county-level news that makes up the content of the Journal and the Recorder, accounting for the redundancy mentioned by Stumpf.
The Aug. 6 edition will also take on a celebratory tone in recognition of Buffalo County’s 4-H and FFA members. A special “Blue Ribbon Edition” section to recognize area youths’ hard work on projects that were destined for the 2020 Buffalo County Fair was planned for the Mondovi Herald, but will now be shared county-wide with Journal and Recorder subscribers as well.
Mondovi’s newspaper dates back 144 years when it was first called the Buffalo County Herald.
Published by Walter L. Houser, that first edition came off the press on Feb. 4, 1876. The newspaper changed its name to the Mondovi Herald-News in 1890.
Two newspapers co-existed in Mondovi near the turn of the 20th century. The Buffalo County News was started in July 1898 by the Brown Brothers. Harry Scott purchased the newspaper in 1901 and later sold it to the Mondovi Herald-News.
The impending merger effectively brings the newspaper back to a portion of its earlier roots as the Buffalo County News.
Alma’s Buffalo County Journal pre-dates the Mondovi Herald by eight years, running its first editions in 1868. The Cochrane-Fountain City Recorder, first called the Republican, was established in 1923.
Both newspapers operated separately until Gary Stumpf, father of Media One’s Mike Stumpf, purchased the Recorder in 1969 and later the Journal in 1985.
Prior to its purchase by Mike Stumpf and his brother, Dan Stumpf, in 2011, the Mondovi Herald was owned by members of the Nyseth family for 50 years. Alton Nyseth bought the newspaper from T.R. Kosmo in 1961. His wife, June, and son, Perry, assumed management of the paper following Alton’s premature death in 1966 at age 52.
Perry Nyseth then co-owned the paper with his late wife, Diane Nyseth, from 1985-2011.
The Mondovi Herald along with the Tri-County News and Augusta Area Times were purchased on Oct. 20, 2011, by Media MD, now known as Media One.
Media One also publishes six other newspapers, including The Courier-Wedge in Durand, Tri-County News, and Augusta Area Times, in addition to the Star Shopper. Three more newspapers are based in Minnesota: the Wabasha County Herald and the Plainview News as well as The St. Charles Press and Lewiston Journal, which were also forced to merge earlier this year.
For those who may currently subscribe to the Mondovi Herald in addition to either the Journal or the Recorder, the remaining value on your subscriptions will be added together. For example, if you have six months remaining on both your Mondovi Herald and C-FC Recorder subscriptions, those values will combine to make for a 12-month subscription to the new Buffalo County News.
Those with questions regarding their subscription may call the Mondovi office at 715-926-4970, email email@example.com, or call the Cochrane office at 608-248-2451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.