John Elchert

MANKATO, Minn. -- John Elchert, a veteran newspaper executive, has been named publisher of the Mankato Free Press, succeeding Jim Santori, who is retiring this spring.

Elchert’s appointment is effective May 11. He’s been publisher of the Farmington, N.M., Daily Times for more than five years.

“John is a great match for the Mankato Free Press and its dedicated team,” said Steve McPhaul, chief operating officer of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.  “His print and digital experience and his leadership qualities will be an asset to the newspaper and the community.”

Elchert has community newspaper experience in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio as well as New Mexico. He said he was attracted to Mankato by the success of the Free Press in print and online. 

"I've heard a lot of good things about the newspaper and its staff,” said Elchert “I'm really anxious to get there and to continue to move the operation forward in these changing and exciting times."

Elchert said as publisher he will become active in the Mankato business and civic communities.

“It’s important to serve the community you are a part of,” he said. “That’s the role of a newspaper and that’s the leadership responsibility of the publisher.”

A native of Tifton, Ohio, Elchert is a graduate of the University of Toledo. He and his wife, Marty, have five children and five grandchildren, with another on the way. 

The Mankato Free Press is a CNHI newspaper. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, CNHI is a leading publisher of local news and information. Its newspapers, websites and specialty publications serve communities in 23 states.