Marcil to be inducted into N.D. Newspaper Hall of Fame

William C. Marcil, president and CEO of Forum Communications Co.

William C. Marcil

William C. Marcil, president and CEO of Forum Communications Co. and publisher of The Forum, will be the 50th person inducted into the North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame during the group's 119th annual convention May 7 in Minot.

"In my judgment, there is no one in the history of North Dakota who has risen to such high levels in the newspaper industry as Marcil," said Don Gackle, chairman of NDNA's Hall of Fame Committee and owner of a Garrison-based family of 11 weekly newspapers.

"No one has had greater respect of his peers or guided so successfully the growth of such a major communications business. No one is more deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame," Gackle said.

Marcil, whose father, Max, was a grain buyer, was born in Rolette. He graduated in 1958 from the University of North Dakota. He then served in the U.S. Army and became a manager for Community Credit Co. in Robbinsdale, Minn. He met Jane Black of Fargo and they married in 1960.

Jane Black's father, Norman D. Black Jr., was publisher of The Forum and he offered Marcil a job as a salesman in The Forum's retail advertising department.


After 18 months, Marcil was named manager of the classified ad department and later worked his way up to production manager, promotion manager and assistant to the publisher.

When Norman D. Black Jr. died in 1969, Marcil became The Forum's president and publisher.

Norman B. Black, owner of The Forum as of 1917, was the first person inducted into the North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1933. His son, Norman D. Black, became publisher of The Forum in 1931 following his father's death and continued in the post until his death in 1944. He was succeeded by the third Norman Black, Norman D. Black Jr., who published the newspaper until his death in 1969. Norman D. Black Jr. was inducted into the state Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1986.

Marcil is the only North Dakotan elected chairman of American Newspaper Publishers Association, now known as the Newspaper Association of America. He was also chairman of both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.

Marcil received the Sioux alumni achievement award from UND in 1990; the Ralph D. Casey University of Minnesota Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1993; an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from North Dakota State University in 1993; and the Schafer Excellence in Enterprise Award from the University of Mary, Bismarck, in 2003.

Under Marcil's leadership, Forum Communications Co. has grown to include daily newspapers in Dickinson and Jamestown, as well as four dailies in Minnesota and one in South Dakota. The company owns 30 community newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as radio and TV stations in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot and Grand Forks.

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