In a world that has experienced a myriad of change over the past 16 months, Madison, S.D., has kept pace. From masking up to social distancing to new vaccinations, every business, every household has made changes necessary to stay healthy and plan for the long term.

The Madison Daily Leader is no different.

It's a necessary part of any business to evolve with economic and technological changes. It's also necessary to freshen and update periodically and look to the future.

As the new Wick Communications publisher at MDL and Leader Printing, I have the privilege of building on the Hunter family legacy.

The MDL team has already experienced a great many changes internally. We've changed our advertising, circulation and business systems (no small feat and kudos to our staff for stepping up!) and have also upgraded our technology across the company.

Now we're getting ready to make changes that our readers will experience effective Aug. 30.

After much discussion, hand wringing and review, we will be moving our home delivery system to mail. While we have been fortunate to have some long-term carriers, the constant churn on many of our routes has created delivery difficulties for subscribers. We want the delivery experience to be consistent and seamless, and we believe we can achieve that with the postal service. As many of you know, most newspapers have already made this change.

Instead of printing in the afternoon, we will print early in the morning in order to have the paper at area post offices in time for same-day delivery. The post office and single-copy drops will provide contract opportunities for current carriers interested in applying.

We will also be making some design changes and moving to a narrower web width for easier handling.

The cost of newsprint, along with other manufacturing supplies, has jumped significantly with two increases back to back in July and August. And while our subscribers will see a rate change, they will also receive added value with 24/7 access to the eEdition (digital replica of the MDL) and our website,, which now has a paywall. Beginning Aug. 30, subscribers can register for eEdition access by following the prompts after clicking eEdition on the MDL website.

A number of community newspapers did not survive the pandemic, and those communities mourn the loss of their local news source. The MDL team is working to ensure that the Daily Leader is positioned to serve the community in providing quality, local journalism, shopping and service information, and a classified marketplace well into the future.

I would like to thank the Madison community for the warm welcome I have received over the past few months, as well as the support shown for the Daily Leader and Leader Printing.

Change can be a good thing.