The leadership structure at Unified Newspaper Group has changed as of Aug. 3.
Longtime group editor Jim Ferolie has assumed the role of general manager with the retirement of Woodward Community Media’s regional publisher, Lee Borkowski. Those two changes have resulted in several other promotions and new roles within the organization, which publishes the Verona Press, Stoughton Courier Hub, Oregon Observer, Fitchburg Star, Great Dane and Your Family magazine.
Kimberly Wethal is now the group’s news editor. She will have the final responsibility for all content and news coverage decisions and will supervise the government reporting team.
Emilie Heidemann is the community/business editor and will continue to ensure balance in our storytelling and an appropriate mix of content.
Mark Nesbitt is the new sports editor. He had been the assistant sports editor under Adam Feiner, who moved to Missouri for family reasons and is resigning as of Aug. 6.
“The biggest staffing changes have been in the works in some form for several months and should not result in significant changes to our newspapers,” Ferolie said. “Our editors, in particular, are well prepared for their new roles.”
Ferolie will oversee the sales and front office team for UNG, as well as the three editors. He will continue to be involved in the operation of the editorial team, especially with mentoring, training and coaching. Ferolie started with UNG in 2006 as the Verona Press editor and became group editor overseeing the three weeklies and the ConnectFitchburg.com website in 2011.
Kathy Neumeister will continue to be involved in UNG’s operations in an administrative capacity while becoming general manager at the Grant-Iowa-Lafayette shopping news. She had previously served as sales manager for both operations. At another Woodward location, Jodi Peterson has been promoted to general manager at the Richland Center Shopping News and Wisconsin-Iowa Shopping News.
Wethal will continue to cover her Verona schools and Fitchburg government beats and oversee election coverage. Wethal has worked with UNG on and off since her junior year in high school, first as an intern and correspondent, then as community reporter for Verona and Fitchburg in March 2018, two months before graduating from college.
Heidemann started with UNG in November 2018 as a community reporter for Oregon and became the Oregon government reporter in September 2018 while transitioning into the community/business editor role.
Nesbitt joined UNG in 2017 after 10 years as a sports and news reporter with the Monroe Times.