By Bryan Horwath / The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Press didn’t go far in its search for a managing editor.
Calling his promotion a “dream come true,” former Press Sports Editor Dustin Monke has been tapped to lead the newspaper’s editorial department.
“I’m truly excited to start this new chapter in my life and in my career,” Monke said on Monday, his first day as managing editor. “I’m ready to tackle the challenges that come with being the managing editor of a newspaper. We hope to continue to provide southwest North Dakota with the excellent coverage that The Dickinson Press has been known for while also improving in some facets of how we present readers the news both in print and online.”
A 2002 graduate of New England High School, Monke went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Minnesota State Moorhead in 2006. He worked for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Dickinson Press, as a sports clerk and sports reporting intern at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead while in school.
After a brief stint as editor of The Herald in New England, where he got his start as a reporter while still in high school, Monke was hired to head up the Press sports department in July 2006 and won multiple awards for his work during his time as sports editor.
In addition to the job change, Monke and his fiancé, Sarah Bennett, are in the midst of planning their wedding. Bennett is an assistant manager for ABLE, Inc. Together they have a 1-year-old schnoodle dog named Noodle.
“I’m from this area and Dickinson really is home to me,” Monke said. “I like what we do here at The Dickinson Press and I think we’re only scratching the surface of the newspaper that we can be. I’d also like to thank everybody I’ve worked with in the sports community these past six-and-ahalf years. I had a great time doing that and I’m looking forward to my new role.”
Also ascending to a new role at The Press is Klark Byrd, who will be the publication’s news editor after spending coming to The Press in 2011 as a copy editor.
Byrd is a father of three and husband to Krystle, who works at Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm in Dickinson. Byrd came to Dickinson from Sidney, Neb., where he was an award-winning journalist and page designer.
“I look forward to working with the community and staff of The Dickinson Press to ensure a viable and desirable forum in which to present local, state, national and global news,” Byrd said. “Dickinson’s strength is in its people and its people can rely on The Dickinson Press when they have something to say. That’s something to be proud of and I’m honored to be a part of it all.”
Byrd’s youngest son, Charlie, is 10 months old and a Dickinson native. Byrd lists his birth as the highlight of his time in the growing oil boom city, which has provided Byrd and his family, like everyone else in Dickinson, with challenges and new experiences.
“It’s great to have someone like Dustin Monke, who is from the area with ties to the community and who has done a great job for us these past six years,” said Press Publisher Harvey Brock. “Klark Byrd has done a great job for us as a copy editor, so it’s nice to be able to promote both of them at the same time. I think they will do an outstanding job together bringing the news to our community.”
Monke replaces Jennifer McBride, who left the newspaper in February to take an editor position in her home state of Wisconsin.