WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 30, 2010, 08:46 AM

Forum Publisher officially handing over the leadership to his son

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The end of one era and the beginning of another for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead starts tomorrow. After 4-decades, Forum publisher William Marcil will officially step aside tomorrow morning, handing over the leadership to his son Bill Marcil Jr. The change comes as the newspaper industry is rapidly changing.

When Mr. Marcil took over for his late father-in-law, the industry was booming. With daily subscription sales down and more people going online to get their news, the new leader will face challenges and it's one Bill Jr. says he's eager to tackle and start right away.

William Marcil's undying love for print is evident as he pages through some century old clippings of the most gripping headlines from the Fargo Forum.

"Man has landed, walked on the moon. This was a special one..."

A dedication he says comes from the "printers ink in his blood."

WILLIAM MARCIL: "In this business, it's new everyday. And it's been exciting."

Five generations have run this Fargo news giant. Now, it's Bill Jr.'s turn to take over.

WILLIAM: "I think if I were just stepping out with a hired hand, it'd be different, but I still feel part of the company."

BILL JR: "Yeah, huge learning curve. No question."

This new publisher spent many years working at the Forum until starting and growing his own publishing business for the last seven years. He says the biggest challenge will be learning the new faces and how to manage employees.

The greatest unknown for the upcoming years: where the future of print is going. With cut-backs within newsrooms and circulation at papers nationwide some see it as an uncertain time. But Bill Jr. says it's a chance to redefine this long-standing medium.

BILL JR: "It conjures up the same warm, fuzzy images for my daughter who thinks the I-Pad is the coolest thing in the world. And for her to sit down and to read information on the I-Pad is really cool. For me, I personally love to sit down in the morning and get my newspaper, touch it and feel it and smell it still. And a lot of people still do."

Over the next few months of transitioning in the somewhat new blood, no major changes are in the works. But...

BILL JR. "Change the name, and pajama day. Those are two things that I've wanted to do forever!"

Obviously Bill Jr. has quite the sense of humor. Mr. Marcil will still be intricately involved with Forum Communications: He will stay on as chairman of the board of Forum Communications and says as long as his mind is sound, he will be at the office.