A longtime circulation manager for The Kansas City Star and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has been named as director of circulation for The World Company, publisher of the Journal-World.
Mike Countryman, who started in the job Wednesday, has had various circulation management roles with The Kansas City Star and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1991. He most recently was circulation sales and marketing manager for the 152,000-daily-circulation Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I have held pretty much every position possible in the circulation business,” Countryman said. “My philosophy is that if you take care of the customers, the customers will take care of us.”
“We are so pleased to welcome Mike Countryman to the company and the Lawrence community,” said Suzanne Schlicht, chief operating officer of The World Company. “Mike’s enthusiasm and focus on customers are contagious. He will undoubtedly lead us to an increased and keen focus on serving our thousands of customers who subscribe or purchase single editions of the Journal-World.”
Countryman said delivering high-quality customer service to readers of the Journal-World and The World Company’s area weekly newspapers will be a top priority, while also increasing the visibility of the printed newspaper in the community.
“I can tell you that there are still a lot of people who want to read the printed paper,” Countryman said. “I wish I could remember who said it, but think about if it was the Internet that came first and the printed newspaper was the new product. People would be like, ‘Wow, this is great. You can roll it up and take it anywhere.’”
Countryman — who before entering the newspaper business had an eight-year career in the Navy — said he is looking forward to returning to the area. Countryman’s wife, Cory, is from the Kansas City area, and he said the chance to bring her and their two children, 8 and 12, closer to family was appealing.
Plus, Countryman, 46, said he is excited to work in a community that is poised to support a growing newspaper.
“I think the opportunity to grow our circulation is certainly here,” Countryman said. “We’re approaching this as a situation where we have to go out and earn our customers’ trust every day, and we will do that.”