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Andrist named executive director of North Dakota Newspaper Association

Steven J. Andrist, a third-generation North Dakota weekly newspaper publisher, has been named Executive Director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

NDNA President Kathleen Leinen, managing editor of the Daily News of Wahpeton and the News-Monitor of Hankinson, described Andrist as “a perfect fit for NDNA.”

Andrist is the grandson of the late Calvin Andrist and son of State Senator John Andrist, both long-time publishers of The Journal at Crosby and both inductees into the NDNA Hall of Fame. Steve Andrist published The Journal for 21 years until selling the newspaper in 2012, completing 91 years of family ownership of the newspaper. Steve Andrist also published the Tioga Tribune which he also sold in 2012.

Andrist is a 1972 graduate of Divide County High School, Crosby, and a 1976 journalism graduate of the University of North Dakota. He began his career as a reporter at the Bismarck Tribune and later held reporting and editing positions at the Winona (Minn.) Daily News and Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin. He took over ownership of the Crosby newspaper in 1991 and served as NDNA President in 2001. He has also served on the National Newspaper Association Board of Directors. While in Crosby, he was active in many community organizations including the Divide County Job Development Authority and Crosby Area Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Barbara, grants manager for the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Agency, are the parents of three adult sons and have three grandchildren.

“We were pleased to have several capable applicants for the position,” said Leinen, “Because of his close association with NDNA over the years and his enviable record as a publisher, Steve was the unanimous choice of the board.”

“Newspapers have both a special role and a special responsibility in maintaining vital and vibrant communities and in encouraging an engaged citizenry,” Andrist said. “Though newspapers may face challenges in today’s competitive world of high tech communications, it’s my view that with foresight, passion and dedication, newspapers will continue to contribute value to American society far into the future,” he said.

Andrist will take over the NDNA position on June 1, replacing Roger Bailey, also a former long-time North Dakota publisher who has held the position for the past 13 years and is retiring.

NDNA’s members are the 90 daily and weekly newspapers in the state. The association’s primary mission is to provide advertising services and educational seminars for its members and assistance to the public in maintaining North Dakota’s strong open government laws.