LIMA — A Van Wert native and resident will lead the operations of The Lima News starting June 10.
AIM Media Midwest announced Wednesday morning that Kirk B. Dougal will become publisher of The Lima News and regional vice president and group publisher in the company.
“My family has deep roots in northwest Ohio,” Dougal said. “My mother’s family moved to northwest Ohio in 1867, and we’ve always been in the area. We grew up as a Lima News family, and we had a subscription over the years.”
Since 2016, Dougal served as the Digital Solutions Director and Operations Manager for Adams Publishing Group, where he created and managed Brick Street Agency, that company’s in-house digital sales and marketing division across Ohio, West Virginia and southern Michigan.
He spent 2004 to 2016 in various roles with Brown Publishing Company and DHI Media, including time as group editor. He serves on the board of trustees for the Ohio News Media Association.
“With his experience as editor, sales leader, publisher and digital pioneer, he is an accomplished and successful publishing executive, and he is uniquely qualified for today’s publishing industry,” said Jeremy Halbreich, chairman and CEO of AIM Media, who told the newspaper’s staff about the hiring in person Wednesday morning. “He will bring a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and strong leadership to The Lima News and to the other Ohio communities.”
Dougal replaces Doug Olsson, who announced Monday he was leaving the newspaper industry at the end of this month to take on the newly created role of vice president for communications and business development for Greater Lima Region Inc.
Dougal will be responsible for the daily newspapers in Lima, Bowling Green and Delaware; weekly papers in Galion, Mt. Gilead, Swanton and Wauseon; DigitalAIM, a digital marketing services agency; special publications; and all affiliated websites and digital assets.
“We’re dealing with a change in delivery in our industry, mainly,” Dougal said. “Our readership has told us they want their news and information, and they’ve also told us they want it in many different ways. Some want print, some want it immediately in digital, some want video. We have to find ways to get our message across in a way they want that. That also pertains to our marketing partners.”
Before moving into journalism. Dougal was president of Diamond Seven Inc., a finance and accounting consulting group, from 1994-2004. He was vice president at Athletic Risk Services Inc. from 1998 to 1999 and chief financial officer and vice president at First-Tel Communications from 1994 to 1998. He’s a graduate of Huntington College.
Dougal lives in Van Wert with his wife and four children, who all attend Lincolnview schools.
“I like getting up every day and being a part of the community,” Dougal said. “… I really enjoy that community feel and being a touchstone for the area, being able to help in our part of the state to be a shining star and a leader.”