Patrick Knorr will become the new chief operating officer of The World Company as part of a number of management changes confirmed at the company's annual corporate meetings Friday.
Albert Bonner becomes general manager of the Journal-World.
Both positions had been held by Ralph Gage, who will continue to be involved in the company's management as director of special projects.
At the same time, Dan Cox was named president of MediaphormediaÂ® LLC, the company's growing software and online operation.
Knorr has been director of Strategic Planning for The World Company, general manager for Sunflower Broadband, and manager of Free State Communications.
Bonner has been corporate director of advertising and marketing for the company. Sara Wilhelm, advertising manager for the Journal-World, will succeed Bonner and become corporate director of sales and advertising.
The changes, announced by Dolph C. Simons Jr., company chairman, are effective Jan. 1.
"Patrick Knorr, Al Bonner, Dan Cox and Sara Wilhelm all have done an excellent job in their various areas within the company, and we are fortunate to have individuals such as these four to move into more responsible positions," Simons said.
"We face many challenges as the information business changes so quickly, but I am confident that Knorr, Bonner, Cox and Wilhelm, with the assistance of Gage, will keep The World Company at the forefront of this fast-changing business."
Simons noted the moves and the timing were Gage's decisions.
"Ralph Gage has been a tremendous asset for The World Company, the Journal-World and other divisions of the company. I am pleased he will remain with the company in a role that will allow him more flexibility and give him the time to deal with a wide range of projects."
Here's a closer look at the management team members:
Knorr is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in social science, and has been with Sunflower Broadband for nine years. Before being named general manger in 2000, he was the Internet Manager for Sunflower and helped lay the foundation for making it one of the most successful cable modem deployments in the country. Currently, almost half of all Lawrence residents use Sunflower's Internet services.
Under Knorr's guidance, Sunflower has received wide acclaim as one of the most progressive cable systems in the country. Sunflower's many industry accomplishments include being one of the first cable companies to deploy switched telephone service, high-definition television, video-on-demand, and an all-digital channel lineup. Sunflower remains one of the only companies to have deployed voice-controlled navigation and advanced advertising-on-demand technology.
Sunflower was honored in 2003 by Cable World magazine as its inaugural Independent Cable System of the Year. In December 2005, Sunflower Broadband was one of 50 companies, technologies and people considered to be "a breed apart" in the broadband business, according to an industry publication. Sunflower was one of four cable operators named to the CED Top 50. The others: Rogers Communications Inc., which is the No. 1 cable company in Canada, and Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc., the two biggest operators in the United States. CED is the common name for Communication Engineering & Design magazine, which is considered the industry's premier trade publication. Also named to that list were Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Sprint Nextel and others.
In 2006, Knorr was elected chairman of the American Cable Association, representing more than 1,000 independent cable companies. He has been active in opposing regulations that impact cable customers, and has worked to change the way large programming companies such as Disney and Fox dictate packaging of customer programming.
Bonner began his advertising career with the Gannett Co. in 1975, running tearsheets and proofs at the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier. After graduating from Purdue University in 1981 with a degree in management, he began his sales career as a territory sales representative. Two years later he was promoted to advertising director at the Sturgis (Mich.) Journal.
He served in a similar capacity in Gannett markets in Muskogee, Okla.; Richmond, Ind.; and Great Falls, Mont., before joining the Journal-World as advertising director in 1999. In 2001 he was appointed corporate advertising and marketing director, responsible for newspaper, television and online sales operations, as well as circulation and marketing and a niche product publishing division. He and his team of managers have guided the company's sales convergence efforts and have added numerous new products to expand revenues and protect traditional revenue streams.
During his career, Bonner has served in the Jaycees, Exchange Club, Crimestoppers Board of Directors, several United Way committee positions, and as International Newspaper and Advertising Executive regional vice president, Ad Club president, and chamber volunteer. He is currently serving as president of the board for the Native American Student Services and president of the board for the Lawrence Friends of Music. In 2006, Bonner was a featured speaker at the Newspaper Association of America Marketing and Circulation Conference and at a Multimedia Reporting and Convergence Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. Bonner is also a member of the Suburban Newspapers of America's New Media Alliance Advisory Board and serves on the organization's Foundation board of directors.
Cox directs online operations for the Journal-World, 6News Lawrence, and a host of other operations encompassing both traditional news and media organizations as well as online-only ventures. His new title as president of the LLC reflects its growing importance to the company, as well as growth of the unit in terms of staff numbers and sales.
Its EllingtonÂ® online publishing system and the Marketplace/¢ local search publishing module are industry leaders.
Since Cox joined The World Company, Mediaphormedia has created nationally and internationally recognized Web sites, earning 20 top industry awards since 2003. His work focuses on advancing the company's online news, media and technology assets, enabling them to be a pre-eminent source for news, information and community.
The World Company has been called "the newspaper company that doesn't know it is small," and Mediaphormedia takes this to heart working tirelessly to create the finest in content, design and technology.
(The name Mediaphormedia is meant to reflect the fact that The World Company, a media company itself, also through this division provides software and design tools primarily for other media companies; inherent in that is a high respect for communication quality, the First Amendment, and the potential to serve and improve society through all these tools.)
Cox attended Emporia State University and has been working on the Internet since 1998.
Wilhelm is advertising manager for the Journal-World. While attending Kansas University, she began her advertising career in 1996 working for the University Daily Kansan, serving as an account executive and then as retail sales manager her senior year. For two summers in 1998-99, she worked as an advertising sales intern at the Journal-World, selling special sections and assisting the sales staff. After graduating from KU in 1999 with a degree in journalism, advertising emphasis, she began her sales career as an account executive at the Journal-World. Eight months later, she was promoted to sales supervisor. During the next two years, her team and her responsibilities continued to grow, until she was promoted to retail advertising manager early in 2002.
In June 2004, Wilhelm became advertising manager, overseeing all print and online display advertising initiatives. Shortly thereafter, she took a lead role in the sales convergence effort; and, during the past three years, Wilhelm has made numerous changes to the advertising department to improve sales productivity and quality standards, from restructuring the sales and support teams to overhauling the recruiting, hiring and new hire orientation training process.
Wilhelm's current community service commitments include serving on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence for five years, and being a praise and worship leader in her church for the past six years.
Professionally, she serves on the marketing committee for Suburban Newspapers of America. She is a graduate of the Leadership Lawrence class of 2007.