COOS BAY — A former sales executive with The World's parent company will assume leadership of the newspaper next week, the company announced Thursday.
Jeff Precourt, who previously worked in advertising at The Times of Northwest Indiana, is returning to Lee Enterprises as publisher of The World. He'll start work Monday.
Bill Masterson Jr., Lee vice president of publishing, said Clark Walworth, who has been serving as both publisher and editor, will continue as editor.
'I have had the privilege of working directly with Jeff in Northwest Indiana for six years," Masterson said, 'so I know the energetic leadership and enthusiasm he will bring to The World and Coos Bay, and the intense focus he places on serving readers and advertisers."
Precourt began his newspaper career at age 13, as a carrier for The Vidette Messenger in Valparaiso, Ind. He advanced to stuffing inserts at age 16. He joined The Times as a graphic designer after graduating from Purdue University in 1997.
He later served as art director and, since 2005, as an advertising sales manager overseeing automotive, real estate and recruitment advertising initiatives. Since July 2012, he has been advertising director at the Canton, Ohio, Repository, owned by GateHouse Media.
'While I have enjoyed working in Canton these last few months, the opportunity to return to Lee and come to Coos Bay was too appealing to resist," he said. 'I'm incredibly excited about working with the staff here and becoming part of the community."
'Jeff brings a great background in advertising and a proven record of leadership," Walworth said. 'Working with him to strengthen The World is going to be great for the paper, for our readers and for our advertisers."
Precourt and his wife, Stephanie, have four children ages 4 to 11. He said he is excited about bringing the family to the Bay Area.
The World is the only daily newspaper published on Oregon's South Coast. The World serves more households than the total of all other newspapers delivered on the South Coast combined. Its digital site, theworldlink.com, serves web, mobile and tablet audiences. The World's direct lineage dates back to The Coast Mail, first published in 1878. It has been part of Lee Enterprises since 2005.
The Bandon Western World, a weekly newspaper in Bandon, has been a division of The World since 2003. The Umpqua Post, a weekly newspaper in Reedsport, has been a division since 2004.
Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising in its markets, with 47 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states.
Lee's newspapers have a circulation of 1.2 million daily and 1.4 million Sunday, reaching nearly 4 million readers in print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 22.8 million unique visitors in September 2012.
Lee's markets include St. Louis, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; Madison, Wis.; Davenport, Iowa; Billings, Mont.; Bloomington, Ill.; and Tucson, Ariz. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit lee.net.