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Ohio News Media Association Names New President, Executive Director

Monica Nieporte will succeed Dennis Hetzel

Monica Nieporte, the president and publisher of the APG Ohio media group in Athens, will become the next president and executive director of the Ohio News Media Association in 2019.

The announcement was made by Ron Waite, publisher of the Sandusky Register and chair of the ONMA search committee that was tasked to find a replacement for Executive Director Dennis Hetzel.  Nieporte and Hetzel will work together from mid-January until April when Hetzel will depart.

“I’m honored to be selected by the search committee and board of trustees to follow in Dennis’ footsteps,” Nieporte said. “Dennis has been a great leader of the association, and I look forward to working and learning from him as he transitions to retirement. I’m excited to start working on behalf our members at ONMA. This position allows me to utilize all of the skills I’ve learned as an editor, ad director and leader to be a strong advocate for the industry that has been my passion for my entire professional career. “

Nieporte is a Canton native and graduate of the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She has held her position since 2014 when the parent company purchased ACM’s media properties in Ohio. She had been a regional vice president of ACM since 2008 and with previous positions as a publisher in Logan, editor and reporter in Athens and as city editor at the Zanesville Times Recorder. She has resigned from her role as a trustee and president of the ONMA board of trustees, where she recused herself from the search process. 

“The search committee was pleased to have had so many quality candidates apply for the ONMA's top position,” Waite said. “Monica stood out for her industry leadership and experience, along with her many years of serving ONMA in various capacities. Her knowledge of our organization and passion for our industry should provide a successful transition of leadership for ONMA in 2019 and many years to come."

As a result of Nieporte’s resignation from the board, the ONMA board voted to move its other officers up the leadership ladder. Waite moves from board vice president to president. Lori Figurski, of Ogden Newspapers in Martins Ferry, moves from treasurer to vice president, where she also will serve as president of the Ohio News Media Foundation. Bruce Winges of the Akron Beacon Journal was named treasurer.

Hetzel announced earlier this year that he and his wife will move to their home in North Carolina, where he plans to stay active in the media industry and government relations work. He joined the ONMA in 2010 from Enquirer Media in Cincinnati following a career as a reporter, editor, general manager and publisher at newspapers in several states. Hetzel also has taught journalism at Temple and Penn State universities and published two political thriller novels.

“It has been the highlight of my career to work on behalf of an industry that reports important news that’s anything but fake,” Hetzel said. “Monica will be a great leader to build on the legislative results we’ve achieved to keep government open and accountable, not only for journalists but all Ohio citizens.”

Founded in 1933, the ONMA is the trade association representing more than 300 Ohio newspapers and local news websites. It also is the parent organization to the Ohio News Media Foundation, the Ohio Coalition for Open Government and AdOhio, an agency specializing in print and digital media placement.

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