Mark Cohen has been named the president of Adams Publishing Group of Ohio, which owns The Athens NEWS and The Athens Messenger, effective March 1, 2019, according to a company news release issued Wednesday.
Cohen will succeed Monica Nieporte, president of APG of Ohio since 2009, who is leaving the company to become the next executive director of the Ohio News Media Association. APG Media delayed making the announcement of Nieporte's planned departure until a successor was named, according to the release. Nieporte begins her new duties with ONMA on a part-time basis later this month, but will continue to assist with the transition to Cohen.
Cohen will be leaving his position as president of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) and MANSI Media Agency in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
He will serve as publisher of The Athens Messenger and The Vinton-Jackson Courier. As president of APG-Ohio, he will lead those papers, along with their sister newspapers: The Athens NEWS, The Pike County News-Watchman, The Logan Daily News, The Perry County Tribune, The Circleville Herald and The Defiance Crescent-News.
“We are excited to have Mark join us to move the Ohio group forward," Gregg Jones, executive vice president of APG, said in the release. "He brings energy, passion and vast experience on the revenue and audience development side, along with over 30 achievement-filled years in the business."
Cohen likened returning to Ohio as "a coming-home party" in the release.
“I loved being the president of PNA and MANSI,” Cohen said in the release. “But once I talked to Mark Adams and Gregg Jones, I knew APG was a great fit for me. It’s like a coming-home party to the Buckeye State and, combined with the alignment of my values and the core principles of Adams Publishing, I was excited to re-enter the business and get back to the hands-on, day-to-day operation of a forward-thinking media company.”
A Cincinnati native, Cohen began his career as a sales executive at The Cincinnati Enquirer.
From November 2013 to September 2017, Cohen was the publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and Ohio.com. Under his leadership, the Beacon Journal was voted 2017 Newspaper of the Year. While in Akron, Cohen served on the boards of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, the Akron Roundtable, the United Way of Summit County and the Downtown Akron Partnership.
Over his 30 years in the newspaper business, Cohen was a Regional COO, a vice president of advertising and started his journey in the newspaper business as a writer before moving to ad sales, according to the release. Cohen held several other various positions as new product director, and he launched XL Marketing, an ad agency, while in Indianapolis that helped design the collateral material for MANSI MEDIA at PNA.
Cohen has also worked for CNHI, Thomson Newspapers, Morris Communications, GateHouse Newspapers and the former Pioneer Newspaper Group, which Adams Publishing Group purchased in late 2017. Cohen has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from Northern Kentucky University.
“I like that Mark Cohen is community-minded along with being a solid community newspaper person, which is nicely consistent with the core principles of Adams Publishing Group,” Jones said in the release. “He plans to hit the ground running.”
With 30 daily newspapers, more than 100 non-daily newspapers and other enterprises operating in 20 states and the District of Columbia, Adams Publishing Group (APG) describes itself as “first and foremost a family-owned community newspaper company, which is driven to provide high quality products and services that make a positive difference in the lives of its constituents, which are, in prioritized order: its readers, its customers/advertisers, its communities, its associates (employees) and its shareholders.