His philosophy of newspapering was "if it's local, it's news," and he put that concept to work each day in his work. His gauge of a good newspaper was the number of names and faces in the publication, and he would often count the names of local people in his hometown Eagle Bulletin to determine whether the editor's job was being done to his satisfaction.
He took pride in being the first into the office each day, including weekends. Editors and managers alike often dreaded the phone calls they would receive from Stew on Saturday and Sunday mornings, telling them to come in to the office to meet him, sometimes before 7 a.m. When bleary-eyed editors arrived at the office, he usually greeted them with bagels or doughnuts, as well as a wire bin full of ideas for their newspapers.
"When I was just a sports editor for Manlius Publishing, I used to meet Stew in the Fayetteville office and he would tell me all about the local sports " what was going on," McIntyre said. "He had a knack in the world of sports and probably a bigger knack for politics. He knew how everything was connected."
He felt that as the smaller print journalism entity in the Syracuse area, the employees of Eagle Newspapers would succeed by outworking and outsmarting the competition. He was a demanding boss, but one who welcomed his employees into his life and his home.
Throughout his life, Mr. Hancock was active in local Republican politics. He started as a youth volunteer working on congressional campaigns, advised several local political campaigns, was a Republican delegate and ran for Syracuse Common Council president.
After leaving Eagle Newspapers in 2003, he started Hancock Public Relations and was a registered lobbyist, representing several businesses in Albany and Washington. His firm specialized in renewable and alternative energy sources, which often caused longtime friends to chuckle at the lifelong Republican going "green."