O’Rourke Media Group to Reestablish Publisher Roles

There’s never been a more exciting, invigorating time to be working in the media business. We have accomplished and learned so much as a company as we near our five-year anniversary in December-more to come on that next month!

This week, we’re beginning a process to reestablish and redefine the Publisher role, which I think may be one of the most important components to our company strategy moving forward. Acquiring thirteen companies since December 2018 has afforded us the opportunity to learn so much as to what’s working and what needs to be changed for us to continue to grow revenue and EBITDA while acquiring two to three companies a year.

For several acquisitions, we acquired newspapers that were regionalized and downsized before coming into OMG, and for the most part, have continued on the same path. Thankfully along the way, we’ve been able to improve top and bottom-line results. For some, I made the wrong decision to manage a business without a Publisher or lead role fully defined; this actually has worked in a few markets, but I don’t think it will longer-term. The last segment would be companies that we acquired that were being run by long-time publisher/owners that didn’t continue in that capacity day after the sale. We have definitely lost ground in some way, shape or form, in a few of these situations. Some key factors that are leading to changing course:

  • Corporate or someone regional being directly responsible for revenue, profit, audience and community engagement in local newspaper markets will never work short or long term. At OMG, we will continue with a skeleton, but very talented centralized team and no corporate HQ other than a 150 sq ft office at my home.
  • My first role as a publisher for Gatehouse in Taunton, MA will always be a memorable experience. I had an opportunity to run this business day-to-day before it was corporatized. We had an amazing sales team that we assembled, we published an excellent newspaper, and we were successful with a number of new product launches, all in a very short period of time. We also benefited from a very strong support system in GH New England that helped drive backend efficiency and handled many headachy things that I didn’t have to deal with locally. The result…we grew revenue by 5% during the recession at a time when the rest of the company and industry was -20% or more. I forget the actual number, but we just about doubled profit in Taunton.
  • Our recent acquisition in Pagosa Springs this past September has been a game-changer for me in terms of the impact of the Publisher role. Terri House, the former owner, may have been the best publisher I’ve come across in my career. The consistent top and bottom-line growth and results in Pagosa Springs are most likely tops in the industry and the newspaper is so impactful in the local community. Obviously, Terri had a strong team as well, which I have been fortunate enough to hire into OMG. They act differently and ask different questions to improve the product and grow the business, which I have really appreciated. The biggest concern with readers and advertisers early on…is the new company going to change anything? What a great position for OMG…don’t mess it up, provide better backend and technology support and work with the local team on what we can improve for advertisers and readers.
  • Following and learning from established businesses that have been successful for decades. I’ve read so many books over the years on the stories behind Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walmart, Lululemon (“Little Black Stretchy Pants”…a top three book for sure…) etc….And, every time I travel to our markets, I see these stores and how consistent they are with product, price, quality of service and on and on. Every one of them, not only in the country but the world, has someone in charge at the local store level, and of course, backend efficiencies and controls are well established with the parent company.

I’m certain that as we find the right people for these publisher jobs, the outcome in 2024 will be very, very positive! The job outline below has a lot of detail, but simply put, we’re setting out to hire some talent that can do the following:

  1. Publish a great product in print and online.
  2. Grow total audience, revenue and profit.
  3. Engage, serve and support the community.

We have recruitment campaigns currently running that include more specific details on the markets we’re looking to hire for right now. Or, if someone is passively in the job market and just wants to have a conversation about a future opportunity, feel free to shoot me an email and we can set up a time to discuss.

Here’s a general outline of the position:

The Publisher will be responsible for managing the operation, which includes Sales/Marketing, New Business Development, News/Editorial, Community Relations, Operations and Team/Staff Development.  We’re looking for leaders that can effectively balance strategy, which includes aligning to our total company strategy, with tactics to grow audience, revenue and profit.  Publishers have to understand and embrace all things digital.

Publishers have lots of freedom and autonomy but are expected to work cohesively with our internal digital agency and centralized team of resources in Finance, IT/Process Improvement, News and HR/Payroll to drive business growth and efficiency.  Our goal is for this job to feel like it’s your own business or franchise without the headache of owning a company.

We’re looking for experienced managers in the media industry with a track record of growing revenue, rising stars in the media industry currently working in an Advertising or News/Editorial capacity and looking for an opportunity to run a business, and or, experienced managers from outside the media industry that are working in a sales or marketing capacity.

Publishers must live or relocate to the market day one to be considered for this job opportunity.

Job Responsibilities

Sales/Marketing: Build relationships and trust with business owners and decision-makers to help them with their advertising and marketing plans. Lead the way with providing creative, omni-channel advertising and marketing solutions to drive revenue growth.  Leverage the strength and expertise of our internal digital agency. Develop and manage a sales team while also maintaining and growing a book of business. Bottom-line, we’re looking for people that can lead by example with a very hands-on approach.

New business development:  Leverage our established brands in the market to open up business expansion opportunities such as Niche publications, Printing & Design services and IT solutions.

News/Editorial:  Work with the editorial team to publish engaging and interesting local news and information.  Maintain a strong local presence with original reporting. Maximize each channel to grow audience–print, website, newsletters, social media.

Community relations:  Keep the company’s newspaper and website brands impactful and in the middle of everything going on in the local communities served.  Engage with local chambers of commerce, networking groups, schools, nonprofit organizations etc…

Operations:   Responsible for managing activity as it relates to print, distribution, store/rack collections and other office duties.  Embrace our company’s zero-based expense management discipline where every dollar spent is justified, consistently reviewed and aligned to business growth objectives.

Team/Staff Development:  Responsible for developing people in each functional area and for steadily recruiting new talent to support revenue and audience growth.  Publishers are also expected to establish back-up for each key position.


  • Competitive compensation package based on experience and the job responsibility.
  • Profit-sharing that can get very lucrative.
  • Eligible for medical, dental and vision benefits on the 1st of the month after 30 days of employment.
  • Eligible to enroll in the company’s 401 (k) retirement savings on the 1st of the month after 90 days.
  • 16 days of PTO plus 4-5 paid holidays.
  • Career growth potential.

About the Company

O’Rourke Media Group ( is a fast-growing company that owns and operates hyper-local, community newspapers, websites, niche publications and a full-service digital agency.  We are family-owned and mission-driven to save newspapers and local media companies by investing in the people, resources and technology needed to thrive for many years to come.  We believe that every community can benefit from a well-run, properly resourced, local newspaper and website.  Our News teams produce hyper-local, high interest local news and accurate and trustworthy reporting.  Our Sales and Digital Fulfillment teams bring omnichannel advertising solutions to local businesses in the communities we serve.

O’Rourke Media Group now operates in eight states and 28 markets with 41 publications and hyper-local websites. We started from ground zero in December 2018, totally bootstrapped, confident and with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Interested candidates should send their resume and letter of interest to Jim O’Rourke at