Schwien promoted to managing editor at HDN
By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
Nick Schwien was named the new managing editor of The Hays Daily News on Wednesday, beating out approximately 30 applicants. Schwien has been with the HDN for 16 years, and most recently served as the chief copy editor.
According to Publisher Patrick Lowry, Schwien received the position for a number of reasons, mainly his talent with multimedia platforms.
"Nick is talented with all the platforms that we work with," Lowry said. "From paper to apps to mobile editions and all of our niche products. He has demonstrated a strong talent with each of them."
Schwien, a graduate of Fort Hays State University, began as a sports stringer with the HDN while still in college. Following graduation, he was hired as a full-time sports reporter and later promoted to assistant sports editor.
"I didn't really know I wanted to be a journalist until I enrolled in college," Schwien said. "It was just what I majored in then, and I became active in the university newspaper and yearbook. (My passion) grew from there."
In 2004, Schwien received a job as a copy editor and quickly was promoted to chief copy editor.
As chief copy editor, he oversaw the daily production of the newspaper, as well as assisted with story assignments.
While in his positions at HDN, Schwien started the newspaper's racing website, HDNews.net/racing, making "the HDN the only newspaper in the state to cover dirt-track racing on a regular basis during the season," Schwien said.
He assisted in the founding of Sports Ink., a monthly magazine by the HDN sports team, along with Nick McQueen, sports editor, Conor Nicholl, sports reporter, and the advertising department. Schwien also started the newspaper's Hays Larks website, which served as the baseball team's official website at the time.
After former managing editor Ron Fields resigned in December, Schwien was promoted to interim managing editor. He said he always wanted to grow at the HDN.
"I always had a goal of continuing to move up the ladder and higher in the chain of command," Schwien said. "I felt like I had a lot of good ideas and can help kick start us in the right direction to keep us growing."
As managing editor, Schwien said he hopes to contribute to the HDN with his strong regional knowledge.
"I think growing up in northwest Kansas has helped me get an idea about the people of the region and the readers and advertisers," Schwien said. "I'm excited to be able to work more in depth with them, and show the region how we have such an amazing, factual-based product."
Schwien said he wants to focus on the future of the HDN by taking a "web-first mentality."
"I want to take a focus on digital products, which is something the industry is working towards, and I feel we can make great strides in that area," he said. "We have great pieces in place, we just need to tweak a few things here and there. God willing, we will be the mainstay as the main focus of news and information in northwest Kansas."
Lowry said he believes Schwien will do an excellent job with expanding the online and social media presence.
"He's going to guide the newsroom to the next level," Lowry said. "Our industry is transitioning, and it is minds like his that make me confident we will be well-positioned."
In the future, Schwien said he would like to continue to see the HDN grow as a news source in northwest Kansas.
"We have a lot of really great people in place and a lot of great products," he said. "We offer a lot of great things, and we offer the most in-depth coverage. We've got reporters young and eager to grow. We've got senior reporters who know the area and have made contacts throughout their decades here. A great mix of all of that makes us the leader in northwest Kansas."
While not at work, Schwien is an active member at Celebration Community Church, a member of Hays USD 489 facilities needs committee and volunteer coach for Hays Recreation Commission. In addition, his free time is spent with his wife, Jessica, and their two children, Brenna and Kale.