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The most valuable lessons learned include, but are not limited to:
n Lead by example. Never ask an employee to do something
you would not be willing to do yourself.
n In order to be successful, you must be customer-focused and
customer-centric and, at the end of the day, the customer
“pays the bills!” Always, always, always go out of the way to
“thank” customers for their business!
n Admit your mistakes, learn from them, and hopefully never
repeat the same mistake twice.
n Be a “life-long learner!” Reading is the key to knowledge!
n One of the best and most effective management styles is
“managing by walking around.” Be visible in and throughout
the organization, get to know your employees and be ap-
proachable and institute and “open door” policy for one and
n One of the biggest and most crucial responsibilities of a
manager or leader is to grow and develop talent...mentoring
others is both a responsibility and an honor and privilege.
n Allow people the opportunity to fail and learn from their
n Macro-management is far and away a more effective man-
agement style than micro-management!
n Give back! Give back to the industry and the communities
your organization serves.
n The biggest pet-peeve for me is the following statement :
“that’s the way we’ve always done things in the past!” Unfor-
tunately, this is one of the reasons our industry is struggling
and long-term, is a going out of business strategy!
n Believe in the philosophy of “why not...instead of why!” Con-
tinually try and explore new ideas and concepts.
n Focus on accountability and things that can be measured.
n Reward success.
And how are they playing out in your new spot with Wick?
Getting people on board with new leadership and the
ever-changing evolution of media today can be challenging at
best. How are you building cohesion around your plans for the
company and its goals/values?
I have spent the first few months with Wick visiting a large
number of our operations and markets and will have vis-
ited all Wick sites within the first six months on the job. I feel that
it is vitally important to meet the managers and employees who
are driving and operating our businesses, getting a feel and sense
for the markets we serve and to be a highly visible leader within
the organization. I have scheduled and instituted a number of
regularly scheduled meetings and conference calls and made it a
high priority to enhance and improve communications through-
out the company. I have opened up the lines of communication,
made myself more accessible and have tried to be more transpar-
ent and candid in my communications and management style.
You have about six months under your belt at Wick now...
can you share some of the key initiatives that you are un-
dertaking/planning? And, how are things going so far?
Early on, I established three Wick Task Forces to address
several key opportunities and concerns:
n 100% Advertising Sales Force Task Force: A Task Force
charged with addressing how we will recruit, retain, train,
compensate and reward Wick Communications sales profes-
n Digital Media Task Force: A Task Force charged with evaluat-
ing our current web and digital platforms and products and
to make recommendations that will be at the very foundation
of our future digital strategies.
n Advertising Sales Task Force: A Task Force charged with iden-
tifying the best and most effective platforms and vendors to
conduct company-wide quarterly sales blitzes and initiatives.
I’m happy to report that the three task forces have performed
admirably and a number of their recommendations and out-
comes are currently being implemented throughout Wick Com-
Wick Communications has a proud history of newspaper-
ing, especially in the state of Arizona, and the Wick legacy
as the only American journalists to witness and photograph the
1955 May Day Parade in Budapest, just prior to the Hungarian
revolt against Russia, earned the company a place in history and
great respect for its journalistic excellence. Flash forward 60 years
and practically everyone’s got a camera and a blog. What are
some of your ‘new normal’ practices when it comes to upholding
journalistic excellence and engaging your local audiences?
The mantra in our newsrooms and news organizations is
and always will be...local, local, and local! We are a com-
munity newspaper-centric company and local news and informa-
tion, regardless of the platform, should and always will be our fo-
cus and at the very foundation of our current and future success.
Content is king...in particular, local content. I should also point
out that Wick Communications has a designated Wick Com-
munications Editorial Director who works directly with all of our
newspaper news operations and is structurally on a similar level
as our Corporate Advertising and Circulation Directors and, like
his revenue-generating peers, reports directly to the President
On the revenue side of the business, what do you see as
some of the most viable digital revenue streams?
For our company and the type of markets Wick serves, I
still believe our local websites present the most immediate
digital upside...traditional web ad sales, locations and positions,
as well as classified verticals (i.e. Automotive, Real Estate and Em-
ployment). Obviously mobile is a real opportunity for Wick and
the entire newspaper industry. Local niche websites and verticals
also present unique and non-traditional opportunities.
Are your sales forces hybrid? Everyone selling everything?
And, how do you train and equip your team to be effective
with the dizzying array of marketing choices available to SMB’s?
Yes, our current sales forces sell everything...all products,
although we have a Corporate Digital Media Sales Manag-
er. Our Digital Media Sales Director takes on the “lion’s share” of
digital, web and mobile sales training and conducts frequent and
numerous “on site” sales blitzes and initiatives, as well as makes
numerous “four-legged” sales calls with our account representa-
Are you in the digital marketing services business?
No...not as of yet, but it is something we have discussed
and will consider as we continue to develop our long term
revenue and business strategies and overall company strategic
Finally, as CEO, you are constantly looking at the big pic-
ture and ‘driving with your brights on’ to help guide the company
and set the course for a healthy future. Tell us about what you see
and how you go about incubating new processes and initiatives.
For us, it will require a cultural shift and change of mind-
set. While this effort is underway, the transition is still in
its infancy. It will require time, patience and willingness to adapt.
We will continue to use employee participative management
practices and inclusive Task Forces and Committees to identify,
incubate and develop new processes and initiatives. n
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