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Princeton Packet Eliminates General Manager Position

Koltz
Koltz

Brad Koltz, the general manager of Packet Publications, will be leaving the community newspaper chain. His last day is tomorrow, Oct. 24, the owner of the company said.

Koltz will not be replaced. Instead, Jim Kilgore, the owner of the Packet, will serve as both the publisher and general manager of the company. The circulation director for the newspaper chain, Michele Nesbihal, will serve as the assistant general manager, Kilgore said.

The Princeton Packet is a semi-weekly newspaper serving the Princeton. The company traces its lineage to 1786. The company publishes a dozen community newspapers. The paper was purchased by former Wall Street Journal publisher Barney Kilgore in 1955. In 2011 the Princeton Packet was for sale and Koltz expressed interest in buying the company. Kilgore decided against selling in 2012, saying he was not ready to retire.

Like other newspapers across the country, circulation at the Packet has declined over the last several years. The company laid off several employees in 2011.

Koltz has been the general manager of the Packet since 2009. Previously he served as the director of interactive media for Landmark Community Newspapers and the director of internet operations for the Eagle-Tribune Publishing Co.

A source at the paper said Koltz was told today that his job has been eliminated, but Kilgore says the departure was Koltz’s decision.

“We will miss Brad’s energy, enthusiasm, creativity and his dedication to the Packet and his countless efforts here to grow revenues and manage costs. We wish Brad continued success as he moves on to a new challenge,” Kilgore wrote in a letter to staff this afternoon that he forwarded to Planet Princeton in response to an email requesting comment on Koltz’s departure. “Due to this development and as part of a plan to restructure our business and adjust our cost structure I have decided to eliminate the position of General Manager, a separate position that was reinstated in May of 2009. I will now hold the title of both publisher and general manager.”

Kilgore said the decision to restructure was a difficult one that will place more management responsibilities on a smaller management team.

“I am deeply indebted to Brad and his services here at the Packet during difficult times. Brad dedicated himself 150 percent to Packet business. He cares deeply about the Packet and its future,” Kilgore said. “I feel certain that Brad will quickly find a new, challenging position where he can put his skills and abilities to work.”

The full text of the letter:

To: All Packet Employees Oct. 23, 2014
From: Jim Kilgore
Subject: General Manager Position

Packet General Manager Bradley Koltz who joined us in the spring of 2009 and who helped lead the company through challenging times, will be leaving us effective this Friday.

“After five years of working to help grow the Packet, it is now time for me to pursue other opportunities,” Brad commented on his decision to leave us.

We will miss Brad’s energy, enthusiasm, creativity and his dedication to the Packet and his countless efforts here to grow revenues and manage costs. We wish Brad continued success as he moves on to a new challenge.

Due to this development and as part of a plan to restructure our business and adjust our cost structure I have decided to eliminate the position of General Manager, a separate position that was reinstated in May of 2009. I will now hold the title of both publisher and general manager.

This decision to restructure is a very difficult decision and one that will put more management responsibilities on the management team.

I am deeply indebted to Brad and his services here at the Packet during difficult times. Brad dedicated himself 150 percent to Packet business. He cares deeply about the Packet and its future. I feel certain that Brad will quickly find a new, challenging position where he can put his skills and abilities to work.

As part of the management restructuring process Michele Nesbithal has agreed to assume the position of assistant general manager to assist me in managing the day-to-day operations here at the Packet. Michele who came to the Packet in 2012 as our circulation director has also very recently stepped up to help lead the advertising department while our Ad Director, Jim Defillipo, is on temporary medical leave.

Michele has an extensive background in management and in the publishing business. Prior to coming to the Packet Michele has served as a circulation director, advertising manager and as a print publishing sales director.

Michele is a very capable, dedicated and well-respected manager. She is a team builder who will provide the leadership I need to strengthen the company and assist the management team to drive sales and manage expenses while we strive to produce the best editorial products we can with the resources available.

Please join me in congratulating Michele as she takes on new challenges and an expanded leadership role.

Best regards,

Jim Kilgore

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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