The Morgan Messenger, now in its 128th year of publishing Morgan County news, and The Hancock News, now in its 108th year of publication in Hancock, Md. across the Potomac River, have named a new managing editor and publisher.
Ahead of the retirement of Sandy Buzzerd on June 18, longtime graphics and advertising manager Jody Crouse for both papers has been named Buzzerd’s successor as managing editor.
Crouse fills the role immediately, managing the printing and distribution logistics of both The Morgan Messenger and The Hancock News. She will oversee the advertising portion of the newspaper businesses.
Sandy Buzzerd retires after more than 38 years at the newspapers. She started work at the paper on January 3, 1983 at the request of the late Warren Buzzerd, former Messenger editor and publisher, and her father-in-law. Sandy is married to Warren’s oldest son, James.
Over the decades, Sandy Buzzerd’s role in the paper’s business management has evolved with changes in technology and industry standards. She has served in multiple leadership roles at the state level in the West Virginia Press Association, ensuring the ongoing influence and survival of the state’s daily and weekly newspapers. She is currently President of the West Virginia Press Association’s board of directors and in 2019 won the Association’s highest award for her service to the industry across West Virginia.
“The newspaper’s success over the years is because of the hard working individuals that have helped the family with our mission to deliver accurate news to readers. Whether it be good news or bad,
it has always been our mission, because the people have a right to know what’s going on in their community,” Buzzerd said.
Managing Editor Jody Crouse joined the newspaper staff in 1984.
“Jody was one of the first people I hired,” said Sandy Buzzerd.
Crouse left the paper to work for a federal contractor for several years, then returned to the paper at Buzzerd’s request in 1992. Since then, she has worked at the front desk, as a typist, graphics designer and as a back-up for Buzzerd in recent years.
“I have learned a lot from Sandy and couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. She was more like a sister than a boss. We have worked together so long that we always knew what the other one was thinking, which was scary sometimes. It will be an adjustment not having her here to fall back on and hopefully I will be able to fill her shoes,” Crouse said of Buzzerd’s leadership.
Todd Buzzerd, publisher
As part of the newspaper’s management reorganization, Todd Buzzerd will take on the role as publisher of The Morgan Messenger and The Hancock News.
Todd Buzzerd runs the printing business that is part of The Morgan Messenger, Inc. – the company which owns and operates the newspapers. Todd Buzzerd has been one of three family owners of The Messenger, which his great-grandfather, S.S. Buzzerd, founded in 1893.
After studying printing arts in high school, Todd Buzzerd came to work at his family’s newspaper business in 1977 during his senior year at Berkeley Springs High School. He has run the printing side of the business since that year. Printing services include business materials printing, small book publishing, invitations and announcements, posters, newsletters, ballots and more. The Messenger newspaper itself hasn’t been printed at the local office since 1972 or ’73, Buzzerd said.
Two new people have joined the Messenger staff recently. Kathy DeLost is a part-time graphics assistant while Lisa Schauer has joined the news staff as a part-time news reporter. They round out the longtime staff at both papers, which includes Editor Kate Shunney, Bev Buzzerd, Flip Henry and Becky Cain. News reporters and photographers include Kate Evans, Trish Rudder, Geoff Fox, Jamie Harris and Lori Younker. Paper distribution staff includes Morgan Buzzerd-Wills and Patty Riggleman.