132nd Annual Convention Montana Newspaper Association

The 132nd Annual Convention of the Montana Newspaper Association was held June 16 & 17 in Lewistown, Montana.

At the Montana Newspaper Association annual meeting, Darla Downs, Herald-News & The Searchlight became the 2017-2018 President, Kyle Rickhoff, Billings Gazette, was elected 1st Vice President; Scott Squillace, Livingston Enterprise was elected 2nd Vice President and Tyler Miller, Independent Record & Montana Standard, was elected 3rd Vice President. Kellyn Brown, Flathead Beacon and Cindy Sease, Bozeman Daily Chronicle were reelected to the board of directors.

At the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service annual meeting, Jeff Martinsen, Choteau Acantha, was elected President and Jim Durfey, Livingston Enterprise was elected Vice President.  Erica Yakawich, Montana Standard & Independent Record and Chad Knudson, Glendive Ranger-Review were elected to the board of directors.

Burley & Rozlynn Bowler, owner and publisher, Daniels County Leader were honored with the 2017 Master Editor/Publisher Award for their significant contributions to the Montana newspaper industry and the Montana Newspaper Association.

Suzanne ‘Sue’ Hart, 1936-2014 was inducted into the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established by the Montana Newspaper Association and the University of Montana School of Journalism, and honors Montana journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession, the arts, and their community.

The top awards from the 2017 Better Newspaper Contest were presented to:

Billing Gazette – The Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper in Montana

The Big Timber Pioneer – The Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper in Montana

Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette – Mel Ruder Photograph of the Year Award

The Big Timber Pioneer – Division 1 Newspaper General Excellence

Choteau Acantha – Division 2 Newspaper General Excellence

Lewistown News-Argus – Division 3 Newspaper General Excellence

Flathead Beacon – Division 4 Newspaper General Excellence

Billings Gazette – Division 5 Newspaper General Excellence

The full presentation of all the awards can be found online at,


The mission of the Montana Newspaper Association is to advance and sustain the news publishing industry in Montana. The association has 83 professional member newspapers and was established in 1885.