The new circulation director at The Minot Daily News is trading in the Dells of Wisconsin for the prairies of North Dakota.
Steve Ewig comes to Minot from Sheboygan, Wis., on the western shore of Lake Michigan, where he previously worked in sales and marketing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He started his new job Tuesday, continuing a lifelong association with the newspaper industry. Ewig said the chance to advance a career he loves is what caught his eye about the opportunity in Minot.
"It looked like a great opportunity for me to run my own department," Ewig said.
Like many in the newspaper business, Ewig started out as a carrier when he was 12, and has worked full-time in the industry for 26 years. His full-time career began with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a district sales manager before he transferred around the state of Wisconsin several times running distribution centers in Cedarburg, Beloit, La Crosse and Sheboygan.
He then had the opportunity to move to a local newspaper in Sheboygan, working there for 18 years. Ewig eventually went back to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a sales and marketing capacity for four years before moving to The Minot Daily News.
As circulation director, Ewig will oversee home delivery of the newspaper, dealer sales and subscription sales. Moving forward, he would like to focus the circulation department on sales and marketing instead of just operations centered on distributing the newspaper.
Something he would like to take a look at doing is putting out an e-edition of The Minot Daily News, an initiative he helped start at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"I worked with Amazon to get a Kindle version of the Journal Sentinel, which currently has 700 subscribers to it. Just in December of last year we rolled out an iPad version of the Journal Sentinel, which has been pretty well received."
He added the e-edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which is separate from the Kindle edition, has 8,000 subscribers.
While Ewig has only been in Minot a short time, he has been pleasantly surprised by North Dakota so far. He admitted to having more than a few preconceived notions about what Minot and North Dakota would be like, and has been happy to see one false belief after another fall by the wayside.
"I thought it was just cold here, and I thought there'd still be snow here. I didn't think that there's any trees here," Ewig said. "I had a lot of misconceptions about North Dakota."
Even though Sheboygan is a bit bigger than Minot at around 50,000 people, Ewig said the Magic City actually has a lot more to offer its residents. He noted the larger airport Minot has, and was especially surprised by the thriving restaurant and retail businesses he found.
"I'd have to drive about an hour to Milwaukee to get the type of retail that's here in terms of shopping," Ewig said. "Even restaurants, some of the big-name restaurants, I'd have to go out of town for an hour or so to do that."
"For a smaller community like this it's very impressive how much it really has to offer," he added.