Warren County

A goodbye from the editor of The Warren County Record

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 3/7/24

Jason Koch is stepping down as editor of The Warren County Record newspaper in Warrenton MO.

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Warren County

A goodbye from the editor of The Warren County Record


They say the only constant in life is change.

That sentiment has very much been true at The Warren County Record since the calendar changed to 2024.

Within the first 33 days of the new year, we had two significant departures from The Record.

Today, I must announce a third departure – my own. The March 7 edition of The Record is my last as editor, and my final day with the paper is March 8.

While I am incredibly excited about my new opportunity – I will be taking over as editor of the Intelligencer in Edwardsville, Ill., and become the second member of my extended family to have that role – leaving Warren County is bittersweet.

Since I took over as editor on April 25, I have had the privilege to tell some incredible stories about the county and the phenomenal people who live here.

For that, I owe our publisher, Tim Schmidt, a tremendous debt of gratitude. Tim called me out of the blue one day last March and asked if I’d be interested in applying for the position – a welcome call given that I was entering my sixth month of being unemployed. I will forever be grateful that this opportunity opened and that I was given the chance to run this incredible publication.

I know there will be some of you who celebrate my departure. We had an older woman come into the office not too long ago to complain that there wasn’t any news in the paper. But I can’t really describe to you how rare the complaints have been.

Before I arrived in Warren County, I could count on one hand the number of times someone came into the office or called the newsroom to tell us they liked something we were doing. 

I’ve lost track of how many times someone has done that here, and I hope that most of our readers are as proud of the work we have done at The Record in the past 46 weeks as I am.

I am beyond grateful to the people of Warren County who have opened their doors and allowed me to tell their stories.

From the stories of good coming out of tragedy, like the Wreaths Across America and the drug awareness billboards.

From the stories of homegrown success, like those of Judge Katie Joyce and Queen Kelsey Miller.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some phenomenal young people like Tayla Payne, Bailey Schneider, Charleigh Ferrell and Roy Briggs, and some tremendous Hidden Heroes, including Linde Flanders and Rich Lagemann.

But I’ve also had the opportunity to tell some critically important news stories about changes coming to the community, from the massive I-70 project to property tax assessments to the new faces at the courthouse.

I couldn’t have done the work I did while serving as editor without so many people in the community, and there are far too many people to name. Just know that you were vital to the work we were able to do at The Record.

I’d also be remiss not to thank my office teammates. We have an incredible sales manager in Kelley Wright, who always made sure we had the space in the newspaper to tell these incredible stories. Tim Hager, our production manager, is one of the best ad designers I’ve had the privilege of working with. And our clerks, Karen Meyer and Bertie-Jean Pearce do incredible work to keep the place running.

And last, but certainly not least, I have to thank you, our readers. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your editor. Thank you for your support. And thank you for picking up the paper every week and reading the stories we’ve worked so hard to tell.

I will miss everyone I have had the privilege to get to know in my time at The Record, and as I embark on my new adventure, I expect I’ll be checking in from time to time just to see how things are going, how the region is growing, and the work the new team at The Record is doing.

I hope you will give the next person to take on the role as editor of The Warren County Record as much support as you gave me.

The first word of my introductory column that ran April 27 was “Hello!”

It’s fitting, then, that these are my last words: Thank you – and goodbye.

warren county, record, newspaper, editor, jason koch