NYM Dispatch publisher to serve second term atop state press association

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Chad Koenen of Henning, left, president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA), introduced Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz who spoke Friday noon, Jan. 27, during the 2023 MNA convention in Brooklyn Park near the Twin Cities. Walz spoke briefly and then fielded questions from newspaper attendees at the noon luncheon.

Chad Koenen, co-owner of Henning Publications, LLC and co-publisher of the Citizen’s Advocate in Henning, New York Mills Dispatch and Frazee-Vergas Forum, has been re-elected as the president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association.

  Koenen was re-elected president at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, Jan. 27, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

“I am both humbled and honored to be re-elected as the President of the Minnesota Newspaper Association. We are an organization that represents newspapers and members of all sizes and backgrounds and I am looking forward to representing each of our members across the state over the next year,” said Koenen. 

Typically a one-year term, Koenen became the first person since Jody Hanson in 2008-09 from the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minn. to be elected to a second term as president.

Crystal Miller of the Albert Lea Tribune is the association’s first vice president, Diann Drew of Alexandria Echo Press is second vice president,  Tara Brandl of the Tracy Area Headlight is third vice president. Other board members are, Kelly Boldan of the West Central Tribune of Willmar, Steve Jameson of The Mankato Free Press, Bill Gaier of Finance and Commerce, Minneapolis and the newly elected Ted Almen Kerkhoven Banner.  Justin Lessman of Jackson County Pilot will continue serving as MNA past president.  

  After receiving a degree in Mass Communications from North Dakota State University, Koenen began his career in 2004 as the sports editor of the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood, Minn. and the Starbuck Times. He was later promoted to the position of editor at the award winning Starbuck Times, a position he held until 2010. 

In 2010 Koenen and his wife Dani purchased the Citizen’s Advocate, a small weekly newspaper in central Minnesota, which was near her hometown of Deer Creek. After several community members approached the couple about starting a newspaper in the neighboring town of New York Mills, the Koenens expanded their operation and began the New York Mills Dispatch in January of 2013. Their company, Henning Publications, LLC, expanded further in 2018 when they purchased the Frazee-Vergas Forum. 

The Koenens are also shareholders in Quinco Press, a commonly owned newspaper printing operation located in Lowry, Minn. Quinco Press prints 33 weekly newspapers and three monthly publications. 

He is a 2013 graduate of the Minnesota News Media Institute and Blandin Foundation Rural Editors and Publishers Community Leadership Program and has served on the MNA’s Journalism Education Committee and Members Services Committee. He has chaired the MNA’s Journalism Education Committee and is the current president of the Minnesota News Media Institute. He was elected to the MNA Board of Directors in 2015, most recently serving as vice president. 

He makes his home in rural Deer Creek with his wife Dani and two children, Kendall, 12; and Korie, 8.