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Hearst is the seat of Cochrane District. It was named after William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper magnate and U.S. senator from New York who had visited the area in 1901. The town was incorporated in 1906. The population of Hearst according to Statistics Canada's 2011 Census is 3,921, an increase of 4% since 2006; however it has been steadily declining for years as logging jobs disappear and residents move away to larger cities such as Kapuskasing or Timmins where there are more job opportunities available. The mayor is Brian McMullan.