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Times, Johnson Newspaper Corp. announce promotions, new hires

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WATERTOWN — John B. Johnson, publisher of the Watertown Daily Times, has announced promotions and the hiring of new managerial employees at the Times and at other Johnson Newspaper Corp. publications.

“These hires are very strategic, since they will help position us for growth,” Mr. Johnson said.

Perry White has been named managing editor of the Times. Mr. White, a resident of Adams, has worked at the Times for more than 18 years, including stints as copy editor, swing editor, state editor and city editor. In his new position, he will be in charge of the daily report and Times reporters, work on long-term planning and oversee the paper’s digital editor in the day-to-day posting to the paper’s website of breaking news. He will continue to write a column, Outside Looking In, and contribute to Voices in the Crowd, the paper’s political blog. He also will be the lead contact with the public for news tips, questions about the newspaper’s contents and requests for corrections or clarifications.

“Perry has done an outstanding job as city editor, guiding reporters and serving as our resident expert in politics, government and the newspaper’s content management system,” Times Editor Timothy Farkas said. “We will continue to tap his vast experience and skills as we get deeper into our transition to digital-first journalism.”

Mr. White has worked in the newspaper industry almost continuously since 1972. He has worked at community newspapers in suburban Syracuse, the southern Capital District and the Northern Catskills, and has won awards for his writing. He also was a licensed real estate broker, and a certified real estate appraiser.

“I have developed a deep connection to the north country in my time here,” Mr. White said. “The Times has been the pre-eminent news source of the region for more than a century, and I want to help make sure it continues on into its second century. Working with our talented news staff, I think the Times can meet the challenges that face it.”

Mr. White is married; his wife, Pamela, has three adult children: Megan, Sarah and Christopher Alires.

Michael Hanson has been named advertising director of the Times. Mr. Hanson has been a member of the ad sales team for 22 years. In his new role, he will oversee all advertising sales for the Watertown Daily Times, the Fort Drum Mountaineer and the Pennysaver. He also will oversee a staff of 21 people, including sales associates, classified advertising clerks and ad graphics staff.

“This is by far the most exciting time of my career. I have witnessed over two decades of change in the newspaper industry, highs and lows,” Mr. Hanson said. “With the addition of digital to all of the various print products we produce, we continue to grow and serve the local community and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Mr. Hanson lives in Brownville with his wife, Laurie.

Gary C. Valik has been hired to fill a new position, corporate director of audience and business development.

“I look forward to working for Johnson Newspaper Corporation and serving the reading community and the advertising audience. I have been in newspapers my entire professional career and strongly believe that newspapers continue to be the town square and local marketplace for the community,” Mr. Valik said. “With the additions of online sites, social media and mobile devices, we can now extend the square and marketplace to serve more communities and diverse audiences. Increased engagement is what I look to achieve.”

Mr. Valik’s newspaper experience was at the Syracuse Post Standard, where he worked to enhance advertising, circulation and new media revenue. After that, Mr. Valik worked at Dupli, where he worked in database development, targeted marketing and new product development.

Mr. Valik grew up in Rochester and currently lives in Baldwinsville, but plans to move to the north country.

He is a single dad of two children — Brad, 21, an engineering student at Syracuse University, and Stacia, 18, who studies engineering at Clarkson University, Potsdam.

“In his new role, Gary is responsible for expanding our audiences for each division through circulation and advertising programs, new product development, new product scale-up and new product launch,” Mr. Johnson said.

He also will expand an already strong direct-mail business, start direct mail for other divisions within the corporation and increase the company’s commercial print business, Mr. Johnson said. He also is tasked with developing go-to-market plans to expand the footprint of the company into areas that are under-served or not at all served with news and marketing publications.

The company also has hired Michael D. Messerly as publisher of the Batavia Daily News. He also will serve as corporate director of digital sales.

Mr. Messerly came to the Daily News from the Portsmouth, Ohio, Daily Times, where he was publisher and general manager. Before that, he worked for DTI, a leader in production and management software for the publishing industry, where he was digital media manager. He also served as digital sales director at the Lubbock, Texas, Avalanche Journal and in a similar position at the Shreveport, La., Times.

“My goals are to increase the number of audience and revenue building platforms for all of the Johnson Newspaper properties. We see opportunities to present news and information in innovative ways that will be unique to our many brands and our readers and advertisers,” Mr. Messerly said.

In Batavia, he will oversee the operations of the Daily News and the Livingston County News, a weekly paper. His corporate duties will be to move the company’s many websites into strong digital revenue streams.

“Both Gary and Michael are focused on bringing solutions to our advertisers to help them grow their businesses and make their business stronger,” Mr. Johnson said. “By expanding our digital marketing and combining it with the reach and frequency of our print and direct-mail services, we are positioned to help our customers grow faster. I am looking forward to this renewed emphasis on bringing efficient, realistic and measurable solutions to our local business clients.”

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