Mark Wilson, publisher of the Rocky Mount Telegram and The Tarboro Weekly has announced he will retire at the end of February. He will be succeeded by Kyle Stephens, who is currently group publisher of Cooke Communications North Carolina’s Southern Group of non-daily newspapers. In addition, Tim Holt has been promoted to chief operating officer of Cooke Communications North Carolina. He will report directly to John Kent Cooke, Jr., who continues as president of the company.
Wilson has been with the company for 14 years. Hired as group manager of the non-daily newspapers in 2003, his role expanded to include The Telegram’s director of sales and marketing duties the following year. In 2013, he became publisher of The Telegram. He has continued to act as the paper’s director of sales and marketing during this time as well. Previously, he served as an advertising account executive for the News & Observer and a regional advertising director for Media General Inc. in South Carolina, as well as publisher of community newspapers for McClatchy Publishing, Media General, and Boone Newspapers. Wilson also served on the NCPA Board of Directors for two terms and as President of the Eastern NC Press Association for two terms.
Stephens began his newspaper career in 2003 as an advertising representative for The Times-Leader, The Farmville Enterprise and The Standard Laconic. He was named the group’s advertising director in 2007 and then promoted to publisher in 2011. In April 2015, he was named group publisher for Cooke’s newly formed Southern Group of non-daily newspapers that also included the Martin County Enterprise & Weekly Herald and Bertie Ledger-Advance. Stephens is a past president of the North Carolina Association of Community Newspapers and a current board member for the North Carolina Press Association.
Holt has been with the group since 1988. He previously served as director of sales and marketing for the Daily Reflector, group advertising director for Cox North Carolina, general manager of The Daily Reflector and Cox North Carolina Central Production Facility, and, most recently, as general manager of Cooke Communications North Carolina. Prior to joining the company, he was advertising director of The Daily Tribune in Columbia, Mo. He is a past director of the Mid-Atlantic Newspaper Advertising Marketing Executives and the United Way of Pitt County. Holt currently serves as president of the North Carolina Press Association.
Cooke Communications North Carolina is a group of three daily and nine non-daily papers located in eastern North Carolina, including The (Greenville) Daily Reflector, Rocky Mount Telegram, and The (Elizabeth City) Daily Advance, in addition to a commercial print facility that produces other area newspapers and magazines.