The Manhattan Mercury is the daily newspaper in Manhattan, Kansas. Together with its website, www.themercury.com, it covers news and distributes information and advertising in the Manhattan area, including Riley, Pottawatomie, Geary, Wabaunsee, Marshall, Clay and Washington counties in northeast Kansas.
The Mercury has a long and distinguished history. It has operated as a daily newspaper since 1909. It was founded as a weekly publication in 1884. Its roots, through acquisition and merger, go back to the first newspaper in Manhattan’s history, the Western Kansas Express. That weekly paper was founded in 1859, just four years after settlers got together to create Manhattan.
Over the years, The Mercury has won hundreds of awards for quality from the Kansas Press Association, the Inland Press Association, and the National Newspaper Association. Those awards have been for writing and editing excellence; photography and design; public service; and for service to advertisers.
The Mercury is politically independent.
For most of its existence, the newspaper has been owned and managed by the Seaton family of Manhattan. Fay N. Seaton, formerly a top assistant to a U.S. Senator from Kansas, bought the newspaper in 1915. His son, R.M. Seaton, was the chairman for many years. Fay’s grandson, Edward L. Seaton, is the company chairman; his great-grandson, Edward (Ned) M. Seaton, is the current publisher and editor-in-chief. Edward L. Seaton and R.M. Seaton are members of the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame.
The Mercury is owned by Seaton Publishing Co., Inc. That company is affiliated by some common owners to newspapers in Arkansas City and Winfield, Kan.; Hastings and Alliance, Neb.; Sheridan, Wyo.; Spearfish, S.D.; and Grand Junction, Colo. Seaton Publishing Co. is also affiliated with the Manhattan Broadcasting Group, which includes three FM and one AM radio station in the Manhattan area.
The Mercury in 2015 launched a quarterly, glossy magazine called 313. That publication is distributed to Mercury subscribers and other households in the Manhattan area.
In Manhattan, The Mercury has financially supported many efforts to improve the quality of life in the area. It has provided scholarships to Kansas State University; it created and has sustained a program called the YES! Fund for after-school programs for kids; it has contributed to scores of charitable causes and community-improvement campaigns.
The Mercury is sustained predominantly through the subscription payments of its readers, and through the support of advertisers that make use of its service to reach the best customers and potential customers in the Manhattan market. The company provides a variety of services -- advertisements in the printed newspaper, advertising on TheMercury.com, advertising in a variety of other digital distribution networks, printing services, and marketing expertise.